My work experience at Matrix has been highly informative as to what profession I wish to pursue and the career path leading up to it. The staff have been friendly without fail and very easy to approach when asking questions, despite their incredibly busy day.
On the Monday, after a roasting bus journey, I was greeted by Lindsay Clarke and the receptionist Zuwaina Nelson. There was no time for inductions as there was an important case at Black Friars Crown Court, with Clare Montgomery QC and Helen Law. Helen Law quickly ran us through the case giving us an idea of what it was about and their arguments so that we could follow. This was an all-day affair, allowing me to see the working of the court first hand and see the impressive Clare Montgomery at work, calling witnesses and showing an exceptionally high level of concentration which was maintained for the whole day. This first day and Wednesday (where I went to the Royal Courts of Justice with Richard Bathard, who was very friendly despite the heat and it being the morning) allowed me to the workings of the Court and how the barrister tackled each argument then question by the judge(s) which I wouldn’t have been able to understand at such a level staying in the office the whole time.
Staying at the office was also highly informative and gave the full picture behind the barristers. It showed the variety of jobs needed to run such a modern institution as Matrix Chambers. I worked with members of the Legal Support Services, with them first explaining what their job entailed then giving us tasks to give us a deeper understanding of how they operated. I worked closely with the Legal Support Manager Shams Rahman doing tasks, with my favourite being producing a Power Point presentation for the Eid Al-Fitr festival the office was having next week. Amy McClean gave us an in depth run through of her job and what she does and told us some of the more interesting cases she was involved in which quickly grabbed my attention. Another group I worked closely with was the Fees and Finance team, with Eric Ofori-Darko showing me how his job worked, clearly showing his enthusiasm for his job in his manner, and giving me tasks to do.
Unfortunately I had to leave early on Friday due to my school prom being on the same day, back in Bristol. The culmination of the week was a mock interview, in which Kristiane De Souza and Matt Leitch both interviewed me as if I was wanting to be employed as an Office and Outdoor Assistant. They were great at maintaining the formality of a real interview whilst also being encouraging and supportive. At the end of the interview they offered advice as to how I could improve. This is a prime example of the staff at Matrix wanting to make work experience as useful as possible and I highly doubt other places offering something similar to this and in such great detail.
My aim, coming out of Matrix was to have a clearer understanding of what career I wanted to pursue coming off the back of GCSEs. I feel that this has been partially successful; I feel that the life of a barrister isn’t for me but I really enjoyed the office environment and process building up to the cases. Therefore I feel that I might go into a different aspect law. Though none of this is set in stone as I haven’t even started my A levels.
Thanks again to everyone at Matrix who made it an enjoyable experience. If you’re ensure of whether you want to go into law or what part of law I would recommend applying for this placement.