My name is Saira, I am currently in my second year of A-levels, and, having applied to read law at university, I wish to become a lawyer. My week at Matrix has been both enjoyable and insightful, making it a very valuable experience especially as there was a variety of things to do.
On Monday, I read through the skeleton arguments of a case concerning human rights and discrimination in light of police stop and search initiatives. Alongside reading, I researched the case law mentioned to better understand the arguments made. In the afternoon, I undertook some research on the provision of legal aid, particularly interesting given that the coalition have slashed government contributions quite significantly since 2010.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I was lucky enough to attend the Supreme Court to watch the human rights case with barrister Hugh and trainee Aidan. Although the case was complicated, I found it useful following Hugh’s skeleton argument and anything of interest or that I didn’t understand was helpfully explained by Aidan. I particularly enjoyed observing the discussions between the barristers and solicitor about how the case was proceeding; especially as the client was there to contribute because I saw how important the case was to her personally.
Also on Wednesday, I discussed law as a career with another trainee Eleanor where it was interesting to hear about her experiences. I spent the remainder of Wednesday reading and researching the skeleton arguments for a special educational needs case that I attended with barrister Sarah at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday which was also interesting because it was an area of law which I had not previously considered.
On Friday I undertook some tasks set by the legal research team. I researched a recent Supreme Court case about solitary confinement in prison being a violation of article 8 of the European Convention, and wrote a summary of the judgement, similar to what the team write for the Supreme Court blog which I also spent time reading. I chose a human right from the ECHR and wrote about why I considered it to be the most important and after this considered what law of the UK I would change. Both these tasks were effective in prompting me to think how laws affects my own life.
Before coming to Matrix, I was set on becoming a lawyer and my busy experience here has just enhanced that desire so I am very grateful to Matrix for offering me this excellent opportunity.