Below, Yumna describes her week at Matrix:
“If, in one word, I were to summarise my experience at Matrix, it would be ‘insightful’. A career in law was something I’d always wished to pursue, especially that of Human Rights law. I felt it would be a rewarding experience to defend and protect basic rights that every single person regardless of race, religion, age or sex should be entitled to. I was unsure however what the profession required and involved.
Meeting Adam Sandell, a Legal Aid barrister, on my first day was an experience in itself; he was interesting and very approachable. We were set for a case in the Royal Courts of Justice and on the journey he explained how the day would proceed. As one would guess, I had many questions to ask, particularly that of his general career and the difference between a barrister and solicitor, which he was more than happy to answer. Observing him present his skeleton argument in court was captivating, as his passion towards the case was apparent. During lunch we walked around the four Inns of Court and spoke about my career options.
On day two, I accompanied Helen Mountfield QC to a hearing at the Supreme Court where we were on the side of the respondent in a case of unfair treatment regarding housing. The case was intensive and difficult to follow, however, Helen was sure to explain it to me prior to entering the court.
Overall, I believe without a week’s placement at Matrix Chambers I would be unsure as to whether I was suited to a career in law. However, with the help and encouragement I received, as well as the unique opportunities I was provided with, my desire to become a barrister has been reinforced.”