Any doubts which I had on whether or not to pursue a career in law were completely dispelled by my week spent at Matrix Chambers. Despite initial assumptions that all I would do was to stand by the photocopier all day or shadow those doing so, it proved to be far, far more interesting than that!
After a quick induction and tour around the offices, I was extremely lucky to attend court not once or twice but all throughout the week. Through this I was able to gain insight into criminal, civil and employment proceedings in a way I never could have done before. The cases covered all aspects from across the years, from Zachary Douglas QC on behalf of Kenyans affected by the British during the Mau Mau uprising to Richard Hermer QC supporting Iraqi civilians in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Matrix has also shown to me all the detailed support given by their staff to barristers when preparing a case.
Every day proved to be different, whether it was learning more about the financial aspects of becoming a barrister or the role of marketing in promoting Matrix as it is: a highly welcoming but thoroughly professional organisation specialising in a wide aspect of laws. Moreover this experience has shown to me that there is more to the law than a simple criminal-civil split; attending all the different sessions and watching barristers specialising in a single area has completely changed my initial view of civil cases being less ‘interesting’ than criminal.
To those who consider the law uninteresting and difficult: think again. All the staff and barristers I encountered throughout the week were all extremely friendly and willing to answer any questions I had on working in the legal field. They have proved that there is much more to the law than the slick dramas and sensationalised celebrity trials shown so frequently on TV; even cases which gain little media exposure are nonetheless vital to understand how our legal system functions. Matrix’s core values mean that they are welcoming to anyone, a complete opposite to the stereotypes of old-fashioned, stiflingly formal chambers.
The week I spent during work experience was very fulfilling and exceeded all my expectations. I witnessed first-hand just how important the co-operation between the barristers and support teams is, and also the staff’s role which I had never considered before spending time at Matrix.
It is with some regret that I have to leave, but the memories will persist and have consolidated my interest in this field. A massive thank you to everyone at Matrix, and I hope there will be many more who consider applying here.