After being greeted by James and Melanie at the front desk and introduced to the practice team by Dan, we kicked off our week with a Legal Research Task, looking at a recent case which had a large media focus. It was incredibly interesting to see an insight into the other inside of a case that had a large online presence and to be given a perspective that was not as heavily influenced by media and public beliefs.
We then moved onto a Marketing Task with Alice; it was very useful to see what it would be like if you were to become a private barrister and the sorts of things you would have to do/set up yourself.
We were then given a tour round the Griffin Building and later the ‘Annex’ building by Idris, Matrix’s facilities assistant; shown the modern technology and AV systems in place for seamless cases, hearings and meetings when conducted online.
We tied off our first day with coffee and a chat with Radha and Rosalind, two trainee Barristers. It was invaluable to hear first-hand the different pathways into law and to the Bar. They also explained the tips and tricks for finding areas that you find most interesting and how to know when/if you are ready to take on the responsibilities of a barrister.
On Tuesday we attended a hearing with Jamas Hodivala QC, he caught us up to date on his current case and talked us through preparing a cross examination of a witness. We then got to see him in action as he cross examined an expert throughout the day, talking to us about the different approaches and methods he was using, why, and the effects they were having.
On Wednesday we were back in the Main Chambers, we got introduced to how the Fees and Finance team help manage the pay of everyone working in the Chambers as well as the charge sheets to be sent to those hiring the Barristers. We were then set a series of tasks which pushed us to think about planning a Barristers’ working schedule as well as booking hotels and flights where necessary to match that schedule. In the afternoon we started off with a task that had us prepare a series of arguments regarding a case as well as referencing the legislation which is relevant. The main aspect of the afternoon was our interview process for the Future Lawyers programme that Matrix runs, partnering aspiring Law Students with leading legal professionals who can act as a mentor to the student and help them better their chances and opportunities in the Legal world; this opportunity would be invaluable to me and I really hope to hear positive feedback when we get contacted with our results. We then finished off our day with another marketing task that had us draft up ideas for an LGBTQIA+ Campaign that Matrix could run that would have genuine positive impacts.
On Thursday we spent most of our day Thursday in the Court of Appeal, witnessing 3 expert Barristers present opening statements and Skeleton arguments on the behalf of the Home Office. It was extraordinary that our first experience of a court room was such a high-profile case, it was challenging to dissect the complex arguments and propositions taking place however was very rewarding when you could follow along and see the intricacies of such a complicated case.
We began our last day in the Court of Justice, observing a case of immense media attention; it was fascinating to watch as questions of human rights and processing of refugees were drawn into observation. We then returned to chambers to debrief and complete any outstanding tasks as well as ask the team any questions we’d gathered over the week.