Isabelle’s week at Matrix

My short week at Matrix Chambers has been incredibly informative, exciting and also influential upon my future career aspirations. I have been given opportunities that I would otherwise not have been able to experience whilst feeling comfortable and welcomed every step along the way.

The week at Matrix began with a warm welcome from the receptionist of the ground floor, whereby I was then introduced to Lindsay Clarke, who performed an introduction with me and another work experience applicant. Lindsay then kindly gave me a circuit of the 2nd floor office and introduced us to all the team members here at Matrix, with a brief summary of their day to day roles and their positions within the chambers. All staff members here at Matrix were more than willing to take time out of their busy schedules to answer any of my questions or to just simply ensure I was enjoying my experience within the chambers. Once the introduction had concluded I was shortly given the opportunity to attend a court hearing at the Upper Tribunal Immigration & Asylum Chamber in the Breams Buildings. Nick, an office assistant, escorted me firstly to the Chambers annex whereby he collected any bundles and additional documents that were needed for court. Here I was introduced to Chris Butler, a Barrister who practises in all areas of public and human rights law and is ranked as a leading junior in those fields. We then travelled shortly to the court and I then spent the remainder of my day observing the work of Mr Butler as he defended a client within court. This experience was one of a kind, as I was able to witness first hand his strategies in cross examination and also witness the importance of the work performed by those in the office and how they play a primary role in ensuring Barristers are able to perform to the best of their abilities. Overall, this day in particular was a favourable moment throughout my time at Matrix as I was able to witness an extremely interesting yet complex case that I wouldn’t have otherwise been given the opportunity to be exposed to.

My second day at Matrix initiated with welcomes from the Practice Assistants within the office. The team of practice assistants and Amy in particular have been of great support this week and have assisted me every step along the way by organising court hearings for me to attend and individual tasks also. Moreover, my second day consisted of a court hearing within the Supreme Court situated in Parliament Square. Again, I was given the opportunity to travel with the office assistant Nick who was transferring bundles of legislation and other documents to the court for the Barristers to use within their hearings. This was the case of P and The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis whereby I was given the golden opportunity to observe barristers Karon Monaghan and Thomas Linden, both QC’s. Here I was able to see law in action, in great detail and depth and also admire the beauty of such a profound court building. I spent my complete day observing this case and was given great insight into a different area of law and the opportunity to witness a different set of Barristers with different expertise in practice.

On the third day of my work experience placement I was again welcomed at 9:00am from Amy and the Practice Assistant’s team and was then informed I was able to witness a quite different and popularly case in relation to publicity and media. I made my way down the Rolls Building, a court complex on Fetter Lane in the City of London that is used by the High Court of Justice. Here I was able to spend my morning witnessing a case between the BBC and Sir Cliff Richard in pursuit of compensation from the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over coverage of the 2014 raid. The Barrister I was able to witness in action was Gavin Millar who has a broad practice spanning media, information, public, criminal, employment and discrimination law. This was an interesting case as it detailed a lot of information that has previously been in the public eye and there were also many news reporters present. By being given the opportunity to witness a case of this kind I have again been able to broaden my knowledge on another area of law and observe the legal approach of another Barrister. Once spending my morning at the High Court, I then enjoyed lunch locally to Matrix Chambers and then returned back to the offices afterwards. Here I was introduced to Rachel who works within the Marketing Team at Matrix. She spent time detailing her role within the Chambers and giving me a great insight into her day to day tasks. I was then given the chance to complete a marketing task, before then moving onto another area of the Chambers. Subsequently I was then introduced to Shams, who works within the LSS team at Matrix. He openly offered me information on how he and the rest of his team members support the Barristers and the resources he uses to help him do so, which included a visit to the Chambers library above the office floor which was extremely informative and explanatory. My time with Shams concluded with a number of tasks that included the creation of a case summary and also an exploration of articles within the European Convention on Human Rights. These tasks allowed me to undergo similar responsibilities that the members of the LSS team hold and therefore gave me the chance to expand my knowledge further in relation to the different responsibilities and opportunities within a Chambers environment.

Sadly, my final day of experience at Matrix appeared as I entered the office at 9:00am on Friday. Once again I was welcomed by everyone and allocated a desk space for the day with a PC and also login details kindly given by a team member Tristan. To begin with I was offered some additional time to finalise the tasks from the previous day given by Shams which took up the majority of my morning. Whilst completing these tasks I was able to converse with the surrounding members of staff who offered me additional information as to the roles they hold within the Chambers, the qualifications required for their positions and how they feel being a member of staff at Matrix. My final afternoon at Matrix then consisted of an interview technique exercise, whereby I was interviewed by Tristan and Sara for the role of an outdoor & office assistant. This task was extremely helpful and confidence boosting as I was given feedback that will allow me to progress throughout any future interviews that I may attend. After my interview I spent some time with the Fee’s & Finance team whereby team member Eric kindly revealed his day to day tasks as a Credit Control Administrator and introduced me to other team members Sydney and Kristiane.

My week here at Matrix Chambers has solidified my passion for Law and my aspirations for working within it, either as a Barristers Clerk or an office administrator/assistant. I would recommend applying for this opportunity to anyone else interested in working within Law, as the team members are nothing but friendly and professional, providing influential and informative tasks and assistance.  I would finally like to take this time, firstly, to thank Matrix as an organisation for providing this appreciated opportunity and then to thank each staff member for their commitment to me throughout my week with them.