In terms of what my perceptions of what a barrister’ chambers was, my time with Matrix has most definitely changed it. Immediately, I was surprised with the modernity of the building and how Matrix has come to reflect the evolving nature of the legal industry. Not only is Matrix a barristers’ chambers, it is a new and innovative practise in the world of law that has branched out into aspects such as social media, and marketing to revolutionise how ordinary people can access legal services.
Within my first hour, I was thrown into a taxi on my way to Westminster Magistrates Court, whereby I observed a trial for a man, wanted for extradition by the Brazilian government, in response to a crime committed in 1994. This gave me a huge insight into the type of legal arguments and court etiquette that is, not just expected in this case, but in all cases. Having the chance to speak to the barrister on the case about everything law related is something rarely afforded to those not in the industry, and so without Matrix, I would not have been able to experience such a personal understanding into what consists of a barrister’s day and asking all case related questions.
Further throughout the week, I spent two whole days with Rhodri Thompson QC, on a case concerning BT, Ofcom and TalkTalk. It was here that I witnessed the incredible arguments constructed by the QC’s (of which were extremely complex), and in particular, the multitude of challenges made from the opposing counsel, namely from the formidable Dinah Rose QC. I found this to be a meaningful experience into the type of cases that competition law attracts, something I knew very little about beforehand. It is exactly the sort of passion, delivered by barristers through their advocacy that has made me more intrigued into pursuing my own legal career, and also studying it at university.
Apart from spending time in court, I was also introduced to the team involved in the actual running of the chambers, and the technical aspect that I had no idea existed. From sitting with the fees and finance team, to the practise desk, and delivering important court documents with the OA’s, I have discovered Matrix to be a versatile environment, with no day ever being the same.
As well as visiting court and being introduced to the various teams, I also had the opportunity to do a mock interview with two of the members at Matrix. I found this incredibly helpful, as I will be able to use the feedback I received here and apply it to future university and job interviews, something I would have otherwise not received.
Perhaps my favourite experience in the week was having been given the opportunity to speak to a current trainee barrister, which proved to be hugely beneficial in answering many of my fears and questions with going on to pursue a legal career. I learned that in order to succeed at the bar, it is essential to remain enthusiastic and completely committed, granted its competitiveness. I was, also given the opportunity to speak with one of the project managers, of whom also has a law degree, and so I was, especially, interested in the different options, or career routes that It allows you to follow, apart from being a solicitor or barrister.
Overall, I have learned many invaluable skills here with my time at Matrix that will most definitely be transferred to my future career. Everyone at Matrix was extremely helpful in asking all of my questions and ensuring that I fulfil my time wisely. I cannot express my gratitude for how both the barristers, and legal team, were happy to give up their time to make a conscious effort in informing me about the different options that are available in a law career. It has been an experience I most certainly will not forget.