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Madeline’s Week at Matrix

My week at Matrix has been both an enticing and riveting experience, that has enabled me to gain an insight into the legal sector and what a job as a barrister would entail. The staff at Matrix were extremely helpful in making the week a compelling experience that has broadened my knowledge of the law and the world of work, prior to university.

The week began on Monday morning with an introduction from Frank, who welcomed us to Matrix. We were also introduced to all the staff whom were both friendly and polite and we learnt about the different departments, such as finance and marketing. This taught us about the valuable different roles within a chambers, widening my knowledge of how a law firm is run. After settling in, we were given several administrative tasks such as booking flights for a barrister and researching venues for an upcoming summer party.  These tasks demonstrated the different jobs within each department in the firm and allowed me to explore different skills such as researching.

Tuesday was an enthralling experience as we were taken to the Supreme Court to watch Hugh Southey QC advocating. Specifically, we were watching an immigration case that involved a woman whom had been living unlawfully in the UK since 2010. This was a thoroughly intriguing experience, as we were able to witness how a case within the Supreme Court operates and how a barrister’s argument is presented to the Court.

On Wednesday, we attended court again, this time visiting the Royal Courts of Justice to watch David Wolfe QC advocate within a judicial review. We were given the opportunity to discuss the case with David on our way to Court and he also answered our questions about what the job as a barrister requires. Furthermore, the day was significant as it enabled us to witness the varying cases that barristers take on as it differed to the case presented to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, due to it involving a local council and primary school in regards to planning permission in the area.

By Thursday we were familiar with the court process, hence were more aware of the procedure that would take place that day. We returned to the High Court, this time to witness Paul Nicholls QC advocating within a commercial case. This differed from the previous cases that we had observed, as the defendant was not required to give his argument, due to judgement being given immediately. This was extremely insightful, as it was our first experience of a judgment and we learnt how this was presented to the Court. Thus, overall our three experiences of court differed immensely, providing us with an extremely insightful view into how the different cases were handled in the Court and how barristers’ roles differed in various sectors of the law.

Finally, on Friday we remained in the office and were given the opportunity to have a mock interview. This provided us with a valuable experience for the future and applying for jobs after university, as we were given feedback on our performance. In addition, we were also taken out for coffee with the two trainee barristers at Matrix, Emma and Natasha. This was extremely useful as it gave us the chance to ask questions about how to pursue a career as a barrister and also an insight into a law degree.

Overall, I would highly recommend this experience to all school students who wish to pursue a career in law, as it is a truly unforgettable experience that allows you to learn about both the different roles within the legal department and various sectors of the law, which is valuable knowledge prior to university. Furthermore, I would like to thank Matrix for all their help and the opportunity.