My week at Matrix has been a wonderful and unforgettable experience. The thing that stood out, and is my lasting impression, about Matrix is the inclusivity, friendliness and motivation within the chambers. I had the opportunity to shadow barristers, engage with different teams within the office, and work independently on various tasks set by the team. Before Matrix I had never been to a barrister’s chambers or even a court before; by the end of the week I had experienced hearings in the Rolls Building, the Royal Court of Justice and the Magistrates Court. The office team ensured that I was kept busy the entire week and got to experience everything that Matrix has to offer. The barristers ensured that I had a firm grasp of each case and went out of their way to discuss the proceedings with me afterwards. I had the privilege of encountering a variety of different cases dealing with immigration, education and public law.
My visits to court were the highlight of the week. I was astounded by the passion and attention to detail that Barristers exhibit and having the opportunity to watch hearings, and in some cases engage with the clients, put into perspective the impact that their work has on the lives of individuals as well as wider society. I particularly enjoyed the cases relating to immigration as it is a topic that is often stigmatised by the media. On Tuesday I went to the Royal Court of Justice with Darryl Hutcheon to a hearing concerned with the delay of the home office in finding accommodation for an asylum-seeker. It was a unique and insightful experience to learn about the case of an individual asylum seeker and see immigration in the form of an individual’s case and not as a general issue. Darryl ensured that I understood every step of the process and was included in any negotiations between the claimant and defendant’s council. During the following days I had the privilege to see the work of Mark Summers QC and Sarah Hannett in action in two very different- yet equally insightful- cases.
My time was divided between visits to court and spending time with the staff in the offices at Matrix. I spent time learning about the vital role that the fees and finance team, practice teams, marketing team and office assistants play in making Matrix efficient and successful. The optimism and team spirit that is consistently pulsing through Matrix emphasised the way that every member of staff and team is a valuable part of the chambers. Everyone was happy to answer any questions I had and teach me more about the responsibilities that exist as part of a legal team.
One of the reasons why my work experience has proved to be extremely valuable to me is the way that the staff were willing to tailor it to the things that I had the most interest in. The staff helped in every way they would to prepare me for an upcoming university interview including a mock interview by Sara and Alice. Shams gave me a detailed introduction into writing legal opinions, something that I am aware I will be required to do at university and I found that even reading through various cases gave me a greater understanding of the various aspects that barristers and solicitors consider when constructing an argument.
My week at Matrix has been invaluable and I’m sure to be talking about it for years to come. I can’t thank everyone enough for being so encouraging, motivating and open about the work of a legal team. I would encourage everyone who is even considering a career in Law to visit Matrix as it could encourage anybody to continue to study, learn and actively engage in the law.