My week at Matrix began at 9 am on Monday morning and was exciting from the very start. I was greeted first by the friendly reception staff before receiving a helpful induction and a tour of the building, allowing me to meet all the staff. My first day was spent getting to know all the various areas of Matrix, including the Marketing Department, the Fees Department and the Legal Support Service. I was given a series of tasks to do that were designed to not only make me think about law and a legal career, but also gave me an insight into the administrative areas of the business. These included choosing a law I would like to change and explaining why, and finding a potential venue for a party.
My second day started promptly with a walk to the High Court to see Zachary Douglas QC and Edward Craven participate in a complicated, yet captivating case about whether or not the interpretation of case law that their opposition was relying on was correct. Due to the case being extremely long running, it could easily have been difficult to explain and understand. However, talking with the barristers enabled me to gain a good understanding of the legal arguments. This allowed me to leave with a highly informed opinion and great advice from very professional barristers.
Day 3 began by firstly meeting Paul Skinner, the barrister with whom I would be spending the day. After introductions, I walked to Victory House where I would watch a small employment tribunal about a breach of contract. This was only a small case but was equally, if not more, fascinating as the case the day before. Seeing a barrister in a smaller environment being able to argue against the opposing party in such a professional and educational way was a highly valuable experience that I will never forget. However, it is not just the opportunity to watch the tribunal that I was thankful for. After finding out that Paul attended the university that I wish to apply to, I was able to gain invaluable advice that I’m certain will aid me greatly in my application.
Thursday (Day 4) was set to be the biggest day, with one of Matrix’s barristers (Helen Law) participating in a case at the Supreme Court. I was promptly taken to the Court via black cab where we were able to quickly meet Helen and discuss the case before it started, allowing me to gain a small understanding of what such a complicated case was about. Watching such a high profile case was an extremely rewarding experience as I was able to gain an insight into how such in-depth and complicated arguments could be made so clearly. It felt like a huge privilege to watch such incredible barristers put forward their cases so eloquently.
My final day at Matrix was set to be one without a court visit as there were no Matrix barristers in court that day. However, it was just as enjoyable and insightful. I was pointed to an online programme called ‘You Be The Judge’. This allowed me to observe made up court cases and decide the sentence that I would give to the defendant. I found this to not only be great fun, but to also be very educational in criminal law. I was also taken out to a local café with two of the trainees at Matrix. Here I was given the opportunity to have an enjoyable informal chat with them and ask them any questions I had about becoming a barrister and studying law at university. This was extremely helpful and provided me with invaluable advice.
To conclude, my week at Matrix has been an incredible, eye-opening experience that I will never forget. Having previously researched their work experience scheme, I had high expectations for an exciting week. It is safe to say that they lived up to all my expectations and more! I was given an amazing opportunity to find out so much information about areas of law I had never considered before and was able to further my knowledge in areas that I already knew about. I was made to feel like one of the team by everyone and met nothing but friendly and professional staff. My time at Matrix will definitely help shape my future and help me to make choices about the career I want and the areas of law that I wish to study. I have absolutely loved participating in work experience here and would strongly recommend this scheme to anyone considering a career in law.