‘Inspiring insight into the life of barristers’

My week at Matrix has left me with an inspiring insight into the life of barristers and their respective teams.

Arriving on Monday morning, I was a little worried about the week ahead however once we met Alice, Lindsay Scott’s PA, and Shams a Legal Support Manager, who took a leading role in organising our week, my nerves soon just became excitement for the week ahead!

After our tour of the office, we met Tamara Jaber, one of the barristers, where she was involved in an immigration tribunal. Before we went into court, Tamara took us for a drink and explained her job, how she’d become a barrister and answered all of our initial questions to do with the chambers. The tribunal went on up to lunch time and then in the afternoon Shams gave us some tasks regarding Human Rights to complete, which for myself was really helpful as Human Rights were not something I’d previously looked into in detail.

On Tuesday, we went down to the Old Bailey, where we watched a thrilling murder trial. Someone was giving evidence who’d been involved in the shooting. After watching this, I left impressed at how quickly and well the barristers were able to think and then dispute the various evidence given. We then spent the afternoon with the Fees and Finance team where we learnt about the various ways in which barristers deal with their fees.

On Wednesday morning we prepared a plea in mitigation for a mock trial, learning the process barristers go through to create one themselves. We then had a mock interview which was really helpful in terms of providing us with advice to improve. In the afternoon we also sat on the practice desks where the team explained how they organise the barrister’s diaries.  We also went for coffee with another barrister, Jessica Jones, who explained in detail what she does and also the process of becoming a barrister after university which was really useful to hear.

On Thursday, we went to the Royal Courts of Justice with the barrister Sarah Hannett, who was involved in the case regarding the new buy-to-let tax laws. Once again, we were impressed at how well the barristers were able to quickly dispute each other’s points. In the afternoon we then advocated the plea’s we had prepared which was a really useful task as it was a practical way of looking at what a barrister does and despite feeling a little nervous before doing it, we soon realised it wasn’t anything to be worried about!

We finished off the week back at the Old Bailey, the case we’d enjoyed the most, watching another murder case. This again was another really helpful opportunity for myself as it showed how as a barrister you need to think out of the box to catch out the criminal!

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my week at Matrix and am very grateful to the team for the opportunity and for making me feel so welcome!