“An impressive company, a priceless opportunity” – Edwin’s week at Matrix
What do the words ‘16 year old, week-long work experience placement’ mean to you. Do you think of a young person serving tea and coffee, performing somewhat menial tasks for free? While not doing this, they are bored and sitting in the corner by themselves, on their phones. Well, I did none of this at Matrix Chambers. I was treated as a mature adult; having my own desk and even having other members of staff ask me if I wanted a cup of tea or coffee. Never once, was I asked to serve tea or coffee and the tasks I was given the opportunity to complete were not at all menial. There was no time when I was sitting around doing nothing.
However, I’m only 16 and am obviously not qualified to work as an adult at Matrix. So, while I was treated like a working adult, I was given tasks to perform which were within in my capability. The Legal Support Service team gave me a fascinating task, where I had to research and write about current cases and a law I would want to change if I was in power. But I also had something completely different- the marketing team allowed me to find venues and caterers for the various events they hold throughout the year!
During my time at Matrix, the staff from the Outdoor and Office Assistants team took me to Court a number of times. I was able to watch complex and interesting cases with Edward Craven, Richard Hermer QC, and Samantha Knights, 3 prestigious barristers.
The Fees and Finance team are essential in the smooth running of Matrix, they don’t just collect money. They do so much more! I was based with this team, with Eric, Kristiane, Sabrina, Chloe and Sydney, and working with them gave me an insight into all the essential things they do. They have to document all transfers, regularly call other accountants at other firms, deal with the finances of around 90 barristers (while keeping them happy), and so much more!
Something special which Matrix does for their work experience students is, it gives them the opportunity to talk to and ask questions about the several departments. I asked many questions, sometimes long and tedious questions. But these were encouraged, welcomed and answered to an exceptional level by all members’ staff, rather than being ignored and unwelcomed. Many members of staff gave up their time to talk to me, telling me about what they do, and this really helped deepen my understanding and allowed me to gain a thorough insight into how a barrister’s chamber actually works. Chambers, particular Matrix, are very different to normal businesses and this is something you will learn about if you are lucky enough to do work experience here.
An amazing experience, the dreaded mock interview. This is something which has really helped me: the feedback and constructive criticism has been invaluable to me. Amy, from Practice Team M and Kristiane from Fees and Finance interviewed me and it was an amazing opportunity.
So, as you can see, Matrix Chambers is no ordinary company, it is an exceptional one with a proper and extremely useful work experience scheme. I don’t know any other companies that do what they do (for example, the mock interview and that pay for lunch!).
Working at Matrix and feeling like part of the team has been an unforgettable experience and an incredible opportunity which I recommend to everyone. You won’t regret it.