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Jamie’s inspirational week at Matrix

Before attending Matrix, I had relatively little knowledge of how a Barrister’s chambers worked and the large teams that run the chambers. However, after my short week I have developed my knowledge of not only a career as a Barrister but also I have gained a greater depth of understanding into legal world as a whole through the work which Matrix had organised for me and Bryony.

On my first day I was warmly welcomed by Lindsay and introduced to the entire team within the chambers specifically team X who I would be working with throughout the week. Very shortly after arriving I was taken to the Commercial Branch of the High Court by Richard, a very experienced outdoor office assistant who was extremely kind and understanding and offered very valuable advice on both being an outdoor assistant and the legal world as a whole, providing a very re-assuring touch in a new environment. Shortly after arrival at the High Court I was taken into a court room and briefly introduced to James Laddie QC. As proceedings began it became obvious that this was a much more modern setup compared to other courtrooms, whilst retaining traditional features such as the huge amount of bundles. I really enjoyed watching the proceedings in particular seeing James Laddie QC on his feet which was great to see due to his obvious talent and the type of employment and commercial law which I am interested. I was also invited into the admin room and introduced to everyone which was brilliant as this really made me feel welcome and one of the team and was untouchably one of the highlights of my week.

On my second day, I spent the majority of my day within the office spending time working with the various areas of the chambers including fees and finance with Eric which was very interesting learning about not only how the Barristers are paid, but also the various types of cases such as legal aid and pro-bono work. I then spent time working with the marketing team and helped them organise an annual event, helping to find appropriate venues and catering. Finally, I spent the remainder of my morning working with Shams and the Legal Support Service, where we were taught how to navigate a legal library and find particular pieces of information for the Barristers; we were also set very useful and interesting tasks to complete over the week spent within Matrix, which helped me understand and practice the type of work I might be doing at university. We were then once again taken to court by Richard where we would see another very talented barrister from Matrix, Chris Buttler. This was very interesting as I could really see how he picked apart the oppositions argument and then presented his argument to the judge in a very confident demi nor.

Day three, consisted mainly of returning to court with Chris Buttler again to see a different case, which was once again very interesting. For the remainder, of the day we continued to complete the other tasks that had been set by the various departments. Furthermore, we also were given the privilege to be toured around the Inns of Court by Richard who shared his extensive knowledge of the area and law as a whole. This was very useful as although I acknowledged these areas existed, I had very little understanding of their significance such as the Middle Temple Chapel.

By this stage I felt as though my legal knowledge had expanded greatly. However, day four proved to be one of the most beneficial days throughout my week and most hectic. The day begun again by attending a case with Nick Armstrong in the Royal Courts of Justice, which was once again very interesting observing the level of detail Nick went into with regards to his argument and his much to the point approach whilst taking into account the trauma involved within the case. On return to the office I was given the opportunity to experience ‘Thursday Lunch’ where I was able to talk to different members of the team as well as Barristers such as James over pizza this was another highlight as it illustrated that despite the very busy surroundings, the team within Matrix was able to organise a break to have a chat with some very interesting people and to gain some invaluable advice. For the remainder of the day I helped with the setup of the employment seminar later in the evening, which I was given the opportunity to attend. Despite understanding very little of the seminar I managed to pick up basic inferences of what was going on and I was again able to see very experienced Barristers: Claire Darwin, Aileen McColgan, and Karon Monaghan QC, giving their opinion on both Uber and free-lance plumbers amongst a vast array of different individuals within the audience.

On my final day, I returned to court for a final time where I was able to see Nick Armstrong once again on a very interesting case which highlighted despite the judiciary’s best attempts the detainment of individuals may not necessarily be in their best needs and so alternative arrangements may need to be set up in order to create an individual who can benefit society in the long term. On returning to the office myself and Bryony were met by Zoe who was one of Matrix’s trainees who was very kind and answered any questions I had about Law itself and the various ways to get into this very competitive field. To conclude my time at Matrix I was interviewed by Frankie and Tristan, this was very beneficial as although I had taken part in interviews before this gave an interesting twist on what a legal interview with Matrix would be like and the core values and prioritising which must be taken into account to maintain a healthy and extremely friendly chambers.

Travelling to Matrix and staying in London for a week was an amazing experience which I would urge anyone wishing to embark on a legal career or just to gain an understanding of how a chambers functions in an extremely friendly and open environment, where you will definitely will be kept busy! This has really helped me finalise my decision that I would love to study Law at university in some capacity and potentially to embark on a career as a Barrister in the future.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me have such an amazing week!