When you walk into Matrix, you are met with immediate warmth and friendly atmosphere due to the layout of the office. I was greeted by an extremely friendly receptionist and Lindsay who showed us upstairs, making us feel really welcomed.
Our week began with an introduction to the practice team and a tour. The practice team’s office is laid out like a law firm, it’s modern and immediately you can hear people chatting away, laughing and making tea. This is really unique, beating the stereotype and I enjoyed being in the office due to this.
We viewed a hearing on Zoom with Zoe Leventhal, a QC barrister. I enjoyed seeing different types of judges and understanding the procedures that go behind a case. We then had coffee with two trainee barristers, Rosalind and Radha, who were lovely and allowed us to bombard them with our many questions. I was able to get a real idea of the challenges of the Bar, the excitement of training and great advice helping us feel confident in our desired careers and ability to achieve.
Towards the end of the week I attended an immigration hearing at the Court of Appeal, which was very interesting and emotional. I enjoyed hearing the differing styles of argument and the impact of policy and politics in the law. The Court of Appeal was really beautiful and it was exciting to see the judges in real life after only reading about their judgements in textbooks.
We enjoyed being in the office, and meeting the different teams as everybody is welcoming. When meeting the legal research team, they were able to give us relevant advice and were really friendly. Meeting the finance team and marketing team was also very helpful, we both appreciated how much the finance team talked of the reality of being a barrister and the challenges but again, that we can still achieve and will be leaving the placement with specific and valuable advice that couldn’t be learned any other way.
The key thing that stands out about Matrix is how willing they are to uplift individuals from underrepresented backgrounds and focus on diversifying the legal profession and arming us with advice to succeed despite our “non traditional” backgrounds that typically act as barriers.
Lastly, we spent a short time in the Court of Appeal during a large media hearing, involving a very known and controversial figure. It was insightful to understand more about life outside the courtroom, such as news reporters and the emotional impact that comes from getting the result you need in order to help vulnerable people and victims.