Conrad describes his work experience at Matrix:
My week at Matrix has been an incredible insight into the fascinating world of law! I found the whole week to be a lovely look at how working and the office life can be.
On the first day, we were incredibly lucky to be able to visit and watch a case at the Supreme Court! It was a long, very technical process, however, watching the barristers’ debate over very important human rights laws was really interesting, as the morals behind the case were extremely important. We spent the majority of the day there, until around 4pm when we came back to Matrix and were given a tour of the office, and an introduction to the brilliant staff team. Typically, meeting a large group of people, especially ones that would be view as authority figures, can be quite daunting. I’m so glad to be able to say that wasn’t the case. The attitude that everybody seem to take with us was a very inclusive and kind one, making me immediately feel more comfortable approaching them with questions and for help.
During the next three days we visited the High Court a number of times. On Tuesday, we watched a Counter-Terror case! We were there entirety of the day, it was a long case, and only one of a number of days that case was running. It posed an interesting question as to whether an individual’s freedom is worth the even slightest risk to national security, and if not, where do you draw the boundaries on said freedom. I thought the morals behind this were really intriguing, and therefore this case was one of my favourites. The following day began with a little bit of office work. We were given the task to make sure there were no unexpected court cases the following day, and if there were we had to organise finding a barrister to take the case. Luckily, all cases were either known about or not related to Matrix. By about 10:30 we headed back down to the High Court to watch a series of application cases. These ranged from immigration applications and asylum seeking to parole hearings. Although Matrix only had one case at the court that day, out of rather a few, it was good to watch all of them as they all handled different aspects of law and thus we found we got a better grasp on a variety of law types. Our final day at the High Court was possibly the most complicated. The case was about counter terrorism but in regards to an individual’s passport being cancelled. Although it sounded relatively simple, it in fact contained a number of different types of law, including the very complex European Union law. This meant the whole day was extremely technical, and often very difficult to grasp. There were often times where the case went off on various tangents to look at extremely specific law types, leaving me rather confused! However, all in all it seemed, from what I could understand, to be an interesting case with rather in depth ethics behind it.
For our final day, we took a thrilling trip to the Old Bailey, the famous criminal court! We spent the morning watching a murder case. It was brilliant to see how criminal law cases compare to other types of law. Due the fact that barristers in criminal law are explaining the law to a jury, regular members of the public – as opposed to the more knowledgeable QC’s and Judges at the high court – which meant it was far less technical, and easier for us to really understand. After lunch we came back to the office, did a little more office work, and began to prepare for a mock interview. The experience of the mock interview was great! At first it was somewhat nerve racking as we were given a task and questions that are genuinely used to interview possible employees at Matrix! However, it was a really nice, relaxed setting for it with a more than understanding member of staff. I think it was extremely beneficial as being good at interviews is an extremely useful life skill to have.
I am extremely thankful to all the staff members at Matrix for making the week such a pleasant and welcoming experience, especially the brilliant Tristan Kerr, Amy Crittenden and Lindsay Clarke for organising my amazing week. I had an incredible time and I highly recommend applying to come for Work Experience here if you a) have an interest in working in law and/or b) if you want to come and get a taste for the working life in a really welcoming office environment with a team of excellent and really kind staff.