Firstly, I’d like to thank Matrix Chambers for their warmth and kindness throughout my work experience. I have always felt welcomed and supported whilst being immersed in this fast paced legal environment.
On the first day of my work experience week, I was instantly greeted by Carrie, which helped calm my conflicting feelings of nervousness and excitement. I was later introduced to Alice, the Human Resources and Office Manager, who gave me my induction and would continue to supervise me throughout the rest of the week. After my induction, I was taken to meet all the staff who were so welcoming and friendly, creating a familial like environment that certainly contributes to the success of Matrix as a whole. Rachel, a member of the Legal Support Service, gave me my LSS task and helped me understand the importance of the Legal Support Service in the workings of Matrix. I was introduced to the fees department after my LSS task and was explained by Eric how the barristers’ fees are calculated and how finances are organised for the whole chambers. At the end of day one, I had developed a recognition of the complex procedures that Matrix undertakes in order to carry out their legal services, and furthermore, the importance of each role within the chambers in achieving legal success.
On day two, I was assigned to handle the post and was informed that I would later be attending the Court of Appeals with Tom Linden QC, a highly esteemed barrister. Whilst walking to court with Rob, one of the Outdoor and Office Assistants, and my work experience partner, I was feeling very excited for what I would be witnessing. Throughout the court experience I maintained a high level of respect for the barristers who presented their arguments for such a worthy cause, which resultantly furthered my ambition to become a barrister. After court, Steve showed my partner and I the essential role of a barrister clerk and illustrated the complexities involved in organising the diaries of the barristers and how solicitors contact Matrix for barristers to advocate on their behalf in court.
The next day, I was given a skeleton argument for a case undertaken by Dan Squires QC and Chris Buttler. After reading this well-drafted document, I was left feeling inspired and eager to witness their eloquent arguments in the Court of Appeals. The case was one regarding discrimination and a violation of the Equality Act 2010, and remained thoroughly engaging throughout the duration of the day. The case lasted for the rest of the working day and I went home after feeling eager to witness the final half of the case the next day.
On Thursday, my partner and I went to the Court of the Appeals with Rob and watched the rest of the case unfold, with Dan Squires QC and Ian Wise QC (Monckton Chambers) present their case before three highly accomplished judges. The judges were conscious of the possibility of a longer than anticipated hearing, which raised the issue of a necessity for swift justice. After court, we went back to Matrix and were given an equality and diversity task by Isabel, Equality and Diversity Manager. We were to develop a presentation on the ways that diversity needs to be promoted and ensured in the legal profession. The research undertaken for the presentation highlighted the dire levels of diversity in the legal field.
Friday brought my time at Matrix Chambers to a close. We participated in a mock interview with Rachel, the Marketing Manager, and Alice. Alice and Rachel made the experience of the interview seem very real which gave a real insight into how legal interviews are conducted. They gave me useful constructive criticism which is truly helpful into helping me develop my interview and interpersonal skills for the future. After the interview, we had coffee with a trainee barrister, Tim, who was very helpful in helping us understand the process to becoming a barrister and general information about life as a barrister.
My time at Matrix has been truly inspirational and has reaffirmed my ambition to study law. I am extremely grateful to all the staff and barristers who made my time here so incredible and always accommodated me despite their busy workloads. Overall, I am leaving Matrix feeling motivated to work hard and hopefully become a barrister at such a diverse, hardworking and prestigious chambers as Matrix is!