My week at Matrix started off on Tuesday, as Monday was a Bank Holiday. The first port of call was an induction to Matrix, allowing me to meet everyone in the office at the time. Everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming!
Almost immediately, I was essentially thrown into the deep end in going to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court to look at some extradition cases. This was an eye-opening experience that I’m extremely grateful for as this was my first time in court. Even on my first day I could see Matrix barristers in action. I had shadowed Jessica Jones, who had a case on someone being accused of several accounts of burglary. She had given me the warrant documents beforehand, so I could follow the case more carefully. Moreover, before her case I had observed other cases including one with the defendant being accused of numerous sexual offences. Each case I observed was extremely interesting and I not only learnt about extradition in specifics but the inner cogs of how court cases worked. At the end of the day, I read through papers on a case handled by Paul Skinner concerning Immigration and Asylum, to reflect and be ready for the next day when I would be attending his hearing.
The following day on Wednesday, I had once again almost immediately gone to another court, the Tribunal Courts where Natasha, who is a trainee at Matrix, and I had observed the entirety of the judge’s hearings. These cases were inexplicably intense and once again I was learning more on the ins and outs of law and how it worked in person. I also learnt more about being a barrister and how one can also work for the Government, such as the HMRC, or for private organisations. Then back at Matrix I had a fees induction, where a member of the team called Sabrina took me through the fees and finance. I also had a marketing induction by Rachel, where I learnt more about the reach that Matrix covers with their website and the tactful usage of social media by the marketing team. I was also given a task to research venues for a newly appointed QC in the Matrix team, which gave me further insight into the diversity of the jobs at Matrix Chambers!
On Thursday, I did an online You Be the Judge task, in which I discovered more about the role of a judge and how aggravating and mitigating factors affect sentencing. Then, I was given half an hour prep time for a mock interview for an Outdoor and Office Assistant role, which deepened my understanding on what skills I need to work on for interviews and I was given universal advice that I will take on, especially with applying for jobs or any interviews that I may undertake in the future. Following my mock interview, I had coffee with the current Matrix trainees, Natasha and Emma, at 2pm. I learnt a lot about how to approach my future steps, and they gave me some really helpful advice and guidance on how I should focus on myself and that I can participate in law-related activities in university; I am hoping to read French and History at undergraduate level before making any decisions. Then, Polly from the LSS team kindly went through my responses to some challenging questions and gave me some feedback. I then read a bundle for a court case that David Wolfe QC is working on for a court hearing on Friday morning.
On my last day, I was shadowing David Wolfe QC alongside Aidan Wills on a case against a council concerning a child with special need’s mother. This was immensely interesting as once again I could witness another type of law in practise and see how different barristers operate. David Wolfe QC was incredibly well spoken and I was in awe of how he conducted his case. After lunch, Steve from Team T gave me a task on researching if any Matrix barristers were on the list for extradition cases on Monday. This was my first time using the Lex system and I learnt more about the administration of barristers’ cases.
This placement has been an incredible opportunity and I thank all the members of Matrix for creating such a friendly and welcoming environment, especially the Legal Support Service team including Polly and Becky who guided me along this week. It has been an eye-opening week where no day was the same and moreover my interest in law has greatly deepened. I’d advise any prospective applicants to apply as soon as possible as this really is an incredible opportunity!