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‘A wholly exceptional experience’

Joseph describes his time with Matrix on work experience:

It is a great shame to be leaving Matrix after such an eventful and exhilarating week. I was placed with the Fees and Finance team, which includes the brilliant Kristiane Siveyer and Eric Ofori-Darko; both of whom were very friendly and went out of their way to make sure I was all right. The week provided an insight into two aspects of law: the courts and barristers, and the office and staff. Both experiences were marvellous and meant that I gained an overall understanding of what it is like to work at a law firm.

Observing court hearings was superb as it showed me what it took to be a barrister. The first activity I did on Monday was in fact watching an appeal at the Supreme Court (which has slightly outdated carpets) with barrister Alison Macdonald, the case making an article in The Guardian newspaper. The following day also saw me working alongside Hugh Southey QC, who I had the tremendous benefit of joining a meeting with, involving his client, solicitor and another barrister. My work in the courts was ultimately what I expected to be doing in my placement at Matrix, and provided me with exactly what I wanted; how courts and hearings actually worked. What I didn’t expect was the engagement the barristers offered, but also how important the office work behind it all was…

My office work was fantastically enjoyable. I was inducted into many areas of practice, including Fees and Finance, Administration, Legal Support Service, Practice Team M, Marketing and Office & Outdoor Assistant. Each included its tasks which were challenging yet gratifying. Aoife O’Reilly from Legal Support Service in particular was very encouraging and great to discuss the court cases with, whilst also explaining to me the importance of and how her job involves the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition to this, Sara Thomson and Rachel Murray from marketing set me research tasks which accentuated my confidence in being independent.

One highlight of my time at Matrix would be the casual coffee and chat with Aidan Wills, a trainee. I had never imagined I would be given this opportunity during my placement and it granted me a wealth of information, detailing what I needed to do to get to his position, the effort needed and general answers about what it’s like to be a barrister. A second point I found particularly useful was the mock interview from Kristiane and the unique Amy Crittenden (who was highly amusing). It was set out as if exactly for the ‘Office & Outdoor Assistant’ role and equipped me with hugely convenient feedback which I will take on board thankfully.

Overall, Matrix was excellent, not only because of the courts and barristers and staff, but because of the way I was treated. The staff at Matrix are a brilliant team, with a very friendly atmosphere, and I am appreciative to say I felt part of that team. The barristers and staff treated me like an adult, and I was expected to carry a sense of responsibility and maturity that any other would; I wasn’t just a work experience placement. I highly recommend Matrix to any other individual, whether it be for a job role or work experience, and I will be disappointed to leave.

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