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Leanna’s week at Matrix

From the moment I received the email that Matrix Chambers had offered me a place on their work experience, I was bombarded with a string of emotions including excitement, nervousness, and anticipation.  I have been given the opportunity to meet some remarkable individuals within the legal world, exposing to me a world I only imagined.  The experiences I have received this week are priceless and have greatly impacted my desire to study law.  The week has superseded my own anticipation and driven my ambition to become a barrister.

My week began instantly with a swift introduction to Alice, the HR manager, who explained the overview of the week and all the confidentiality agreements.  Within five minutes of introduction, I was sent with my fellow work experience partner to Southwark Crown Court!  The experience was riveting, and I was introduced to the structure and etiquette of the criminal courts.  We then returned in the afternoon to Matrix Chambers and were given a series of tasks including flight and hotel bookings.  Later, I was introduced to Polly, a member of the Legal Support Team, who explained her role in supporting the barristers which involved a heavy amount of research! She then proceeded to set me a number of tasks including the summarisation of cases.  I was then sent home, stimulated for what exciting experiences the next day held!

Tuesday began with research into a case concerning the Undercover Police Inquiry.  Later we were accompanied by Comfort, a practice assistant, to the Royal Courts of Justice to watch Phillippa Kaufmann QC on a case regarding the Undercover Police Inquiry.  Phillippa was an exhilarating and inspiring advocate, and I loved every single moment she spoke!  Her argumentative skills were phenomenal, her speech admirable, and her skills overall were desirable for any prospective barrister.  I am determined to work and study hard to be a barrister as excellent as her!

The next morning we were sent again to the Royal Courts of Justice, to continue to watch Phillippa in court.  The day was just as exciting as the day before!  We were able to briefly talk with Phillippa and Joanna Buckley (Junior on the case) before court began.  They were both absolutely lovely, and advised us about the different career paths of becoming a barrister.  The case finished at noon, and we headed back to Matrix.  After lunch we were introduced to Liz, a friendly practice manager who outlined and explained to us her role within the Chambers.  Liz explained her hectic and busy job, involving making sure every barrister at Matrix had enough work to timetabling for each of the barristers.  We then finished the day by continuing to work on the tasks set for us by Alice and Polly.

On Thursday morning we visited the Central London Employment Tribunal to watch James Laddie QC during a hearing concerning Tracy Robinson v His Highness Sheik Khaled Bin Saqr Al Qasimi.  I was exposed to the cross examination of two witnesses which revealed a different setting and environment of law compared to Crown Court or the Royal Courts of Justice.  It was an enjoyable experience and James was assertive and eloquent giving me great advice regarding upcoming university interviews.  It was a great opportunity to meet another outstanding barrister at Matrix and experience another fascinating and intriguing day in court.

The final morning of Matrix began with an introduction to the fees, finance, and billing of the barristers with Eric, the credit control administrator.  He explained to us the different types of cases a barrister can work one, such as private cases and Legal Aid.  We were then given a mock interview for an LSS role with Alice and Sidney.  The mock interview was a great help, especially for upcoming university interviews.  After lunch, we were then taken for cake and coffee by two friendly junior barristers Tim and Julie, who gave us an insight into law school, preparation for the bar, and life as a junior barrister.

To conclude, the work experience placement at Matrix chambers was a riveting and educational insight into the world of law.  I was introduced to a variety of people from diverse backgrounds, and given an unforgettable experience with leading barristers.  The work experience placement at Matrix Chambers has driven my passion to study law and created a strong ambition within me to become a barrister.