My week began on Monday at 9am, where I met Katy who was also there for work experience and would be working alongside me during the week. We both then received a brief induction which informed us on what to expect during our placement, as well as a few documents which we had to sign and fill out.
After the introduction, we were brought upstairs where we were able to meet everyone in the office. They were all very welcoming and kind, especially Amy McClean, who throughout the week helped to organise our schedule and make sure we always had work to do and new people to meet.
Throughout the week I was given a range of different tasks to complete which helped me to develop my knowledge on what each department did, as well as giving me a better understanding of how a barrister chamber works. Some of the tasks which I completed include; researching different topics (such as legal aid, Conditional Fee Agreements, etc), arguing an Article 8 v Article 10 case, helping the marketing team to find a venue for a meeting and researching different laws, human rights and news articles to analyse and evaluate. I found all of these tasks interesting and eye opening, and they were never hard to understand or too difficult to complete.
Throughout the week I had the opportunity to meet a range of barristers and legal professionals, some of which were recently called to the bar, and some who are more experienced and have even become QC’s. One QC who I was able to see both in court presenting a case, as well as in the staff room at lunch, was James Laddie QC. He discussed his case with us as well as what it takes to be a barrister, and was very friendly and helpful. I was also able to go to a local café with a barrister named Emma Foubister, who went through the stages necessary to become a barrister, and gave us advice for each step.
On both Wednesday and Thursday we were able to visit court. We went to the Rolls building, where we viewed the Cliff Richard case (where the BBC were appealing a privacy ruling). On Wednesday we watched the Bawa-Garba case, which was where a doctor who was charged with gross negligent manslaughter was appealing so that she can return to medicine. It took place at the Court of Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice, and was a very insightful and captivating case. Before we visited the court, I was given a skeleton of the case so that I had a basic understanding of what it entailed. This helped a lot as I was able follow along with the proceedings in court. Visiting court was very interesting and enabled me to have a more educated understanding of a barrister’s role in court and how they must present themselves and deliver their argument. I had never viewed a high profile court case before and it was a valuable and unforgettable experience.
My week at Matrix has been extremely insightful and interesting and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to work alongside such talented barristers, as well as the kind and helpful staff who work within Matrix. I would recommend this placement to anybody who is interested in becoming a barrister or would like to work within a chambers like Matrix.