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“Spending a week at Matrix has been an invaluable experience” – Humairaa’s week at Matrix

My time at Matrix was both enjoyable and memorable due to the scope of events we were involved in, which allowed me to gain an insight into the Bar as a profession. Primarily, I was kindly welcomed by staff and Faiza who undertook my induction, which incorporated details about Matrix and signing confidentiality forms.

The first two days consisted of attending court – I had the opportunity to view Mr Vassal-Adams QC and Mr Wills on a media law defamation case which allowed me to gain first-hand experience of law in practice. I wholly enjoyed watching the cross-examinations; this helped me understand the manner in which barristers conduct their investigations and present questions to witnesses in order to support their points. Also, I was fascinated how the prosecution and defence both scrutinised their opponent’s evidence including small facts and figures as well as document validity. Additionally, the judges’ comments throughout the case allowed me to acknowledge how the ultimate outcome lies in the rulings of the judge after a comprehensive analysis of both arguments. Being able to attend court for two days made me feel part of the case and eager to learn about the final verdict.

The third day too involved attending The Court of Appeal with Ms Skinner who was challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the contents of a particular press release. Having read articles and the skeleton arguments prior to attending court, I was familiar with the aspects of the case and potential claims of the prosecution and defence. I enjoyed watching the response to judge’s questions as well as the ability to maintain a clear line of argument and focus, amid such challenges. Having the opportunity to communicate with barristers themselves, I was able to appreciate the benefits as well as challenges of the profession.

The last two days at Matrix involved spending the day in the office, being introduced to the different teams. My induction to the Finance and Fees team helped me to understand the way in which the billing system works. Eric and Sabrina kindly informed us of their roles and showed us real examples of proceedings that take place when obtaining payments from clients and solicitors. Further, working with Polly on the LSS team opened up a new perception of how the chamber functions, allowing me to gain a broad insight into the operational aspect of the chambers, as well as particular Hansard Research tasks that are completed in order to assist barristers with their cases. This enabled me to highlight the importance of the network of teams, ranging from Office Administrators, Legal Support Service and Marketing to the barristers themselves.

On Friday we were also given the opportunity to spend time with two trainees, who shared their experiences and gave us beneficial advice with regards to a career at the Bar. Spending a week at Matrix has been an invaluable experience. The extensive variety of skills and knowledge I have been exposed to has further motivated me to pursue a career in law.