Day 1) I enjoyed the time we spent with fees and finance this morning. We looking into different forms of fees for legal counsel i.e. legal aid, private cases and pro bono work. The mock interview tasks were very interesting because I had never done anything like it before. I liked how the task was complicated as first glance but the more you thought about it, you realised the different avenues to completing it. My favourite part of the day was the tour around Gray’s Inn and seeing all the history associated with the building as well as the history of the area.
Day 2) We spent time in the office doing different tasks for different departments. I enjoyed talking to the legal researchers. It was interesting to see how they can aid barristers despite them being self-employed. We had a task on doing our own legal research and using sites like ‘Westlaw’ which gave me access to legal documents and proceedings which I found initially quite confusing but interesting. As well as this, talking to people like Rebecca who was preparing to apply for mini pupillages was very encouraging and she gave us a lot of good advice on applying for university and the non-law degree route. We also had our future lawyers interview which I was pretty worried about. But the interview itself wasn’t as scary as I’d thought and both Venetia and Rebecca made it really comfortable for me so I wasn’t overly stressed.
Day 3) We couldn’t attend because of the train strikes but we were set some prep reading before we went to court. I found it interesting to look into a skeleton argument of a court case and it was one of my first experiences with reading actual court documents.
Day 4) We spent the day in the Court of Appeal. We saw the barristers go back and forth with the judges and, it was a bit unexpected to see judges so invested in the detail of what the barristers. For example, they had a very long discussion on just one of the barristers’ phrasing and this almost broke down her whole argument. Afterwards, we chatted with the Matrix barristers and some trainees and they explained the routes into being a barrister, which was quite interesting because I had only really spent time looking at the solicitor route. As well as this, it was nice to talk to trainees and hear the kind of things they had to do as they trained and how they got to this stage.
Day 5) On the last day we went to the criminal court and listened in on a pre-trial. While it wasn’t what we expected, it was really interesting to know the things barristers have to do before they go to the actual trial. This was quite easy to follow as well so we could be immersed in the trial without us having the argument in front of us.
The environment in Matrix was very pleasant. Everyone was really nice and I liked how everyone was seen as equals. Overall I had a great week meeting different people and having an opportunity to come to court and see how it’s all done. It was especially interesting for me because I never really had an interest in being a barrister but now I understand the excitement and the thrill we were told about of going to court and successfully arguing a case you’d been preparing for hours. Thank you Matrix Chambers for such an exciting and insightful week!