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‘An inspiring and motivational experience’ – Indigo’s week at Matrix

My week at Matrix was truly the most inspiring and motivational experience, I would like to thank everyone at Matrix for this incredible opportunity. It allowed me to gain first hand experience and an insight into the world of law in a modern legal practice, whilst also experiencing what it is like to be part of a busy office environment.

My week commenced on Monday morning where I was greeted by the welcoming and friendly staff. My first day mainly consisted of tasks for Team T and the Legal support service (LSS). Personally my highlight of Monday was the induction to LSS, in which Polly gave us a fascinating insight into what is required of the team in order to provide the necessary legal support to the barristers. During our LSS induction we were given a tour around the library where we were shown the authoritative texts used by barristers to help them with the various criminal and civil procedure rules and laws. Polly also gave us an insight into what it is like to study law at university and advice on career paths into the legal sector.

Tuesday was a day that I had highly anticipated as it was the first time that I had ever been to court, and it went above and beyond my expectations. I was extremely lucky to experience the infamous Royal Courts of Justice, where I eagerly watched Zoe Leventhal argue an intriguing case regarding the removal of benefits from severely disabled people and how this was discrimination. I was fortunate to see Zoe the next day in Matrix Chambers where she gave me an update on how the case was progressing.

Promptly after our arrival at Matrix on Wednesday morning we walked to the Employment Tribunal Court with Mathew Purchase, where he expertly presented his case in order to receive permission to appeal against a previous judgement on a case of discrimination within the NHS workplace. This hearing was relatively short so we were able to witness the judge’s decision to grant permission to appeal, which she said was mainly due to the compelling argument made by Mathew Purchase. He kindly took the time on our walk to and from court to explain the case and answer any law related questions we had.

Thursday was the highlight of my week as we watched a captivating extradition case passionately argued by Alex Bailin QC and Aaron Watkins against the United States Government. The case was made even more exciting as the leading judge was the Lord Chief justice of England and Wales. This was the first time that we saw both sides argue their case, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it highlighted the skills of both barristers whilst challenging my thinking and opinion of what I personally thought the verdict should be.

Upon our arrival to Matrix on Friday morning we were given the skeleton argument, allowing us to gain an insight into the case we were attending that day, which was a permission hearing for an appeal against the Prime Minister’s decision to only appoint one judge to the Grenfell Tower inquiry.We walked to the Royal Courts of Justice with Hugh Southey QC, who was the leading barrister on the case. During our walk to and from court Hugh Southey generously clarified some of the key aspects of the case and gave us crucial advice on the different areas of law and what a career as a barrister is really like.

I am so grateful to all of the barristers and everyone I met at Matrix as they were so generous with their time and genuinely wanted to provide us with the most unforgettable experience. This invaluable week at Matrix far surpassed all of my wildest expectations and has consolidated my goal of pursuing a career as a barrister. I feel so privileged to have had this opportunity, it was one of the best weeks of my life.