Aisha’s Week at Matrix

Due to my huge passion in being a barrister, I participated in Matrix Chamber’s work experience for three exciting days. Being from a different city and so travelling to central London on my own, I was quite nervous. Despite this, upon arriving at the chambers I was warmly welcomed by Lindsay Clarke (HR Manager) and the rest of the amazing practice team. I was given a brief tour around the office, being introduced to everyone, and making me feel very welcome.  

On my first day, I met the fees team who explained the work they do and several types of legal funding such as legal aid, conditional fee agreements and private funding before being given my first research task. Then, I met the facilities team who also explained their work before meeting the legal support service who interested me the most in their work. Lastly, I met the equality and inclusion manager who gave me the task of creating a campaign for Black History Month. Before the end of the day, I read the skeleton argument of the case. I admit that it was quite difficult to understand some sections, so I was a little apprehensive. However, these feelings disappeared by the next day when I met the barristers.  

On my second day, I headed straight to The Royal Court of Justice and was fascinated by the beautiful building. The high ceiling and huge windows looked magical as we made our way to the courtroom where the case would take place. I met with David Wolfe KC and Toby Fisher who were acting on behalf of the claimants of the Peak District and South Yorkshire Branch of The Campaign to Protect Rural England v The Secretary of State for Transport and National Highways Limited. Sitting in the courtroom, I was very excited as it was my first time watching a real case in person. It was enjoyable to see court traditions taking place like barristers wearing wigs and using words like ‘my learned friend’ and ‘my lady.’ The atmosphere of the courtroom heightened my excitement as I watched the barristers and solicitors whispering at certain times and the sounds of pens scratching paper or fingers at keyboards, mixed with the occasional silence of stressful moments.  

The case was somewhat interesting to me, however the style of speaking by the barristers interested me the most and gave me an insight into what my future career might look like. It was interesting to learn some of the procedures and etiquette of the case and how the barristers represented their side. I was also so inspired by David Wolfe KC as it was clear he is a very experienced and knowledgeable barrister, something I aim to be in the future. Due to my huge inspiration, I viewed his profile on the Matrix website which only motivated me more.  

After the judge made it clear she would make a judgement in some time and the case was over, I met with the barristers to reflect on the case. I was truly fortunate to be given advice by David Wolfe KC regarding deciding what type of lawyer I want to be, and it has already had an impact on me. Role models like David Wolfe KC and Toby Fisher have really shaped my journey into law positively and I am grateful to have such opportunities.  

On the third and final day of the work experience, it was bittersweet as although I had a wonderful time, I was sad the work experience and my time at Matrix was coming to an end. I began the day by talking to the marketing team. It was interesting to listen to the importance of marketing within a chamber and how Matrix optimises this. The work of marketing appealed to me, and I was looking forward to the task that will be assigned. After this, I had my future lawyers mentoring scheme interview. Despite being nervous, I had a lot to share and talk about, which enhanced my confidence, and it went well.  

Overall, I had an immensely inspiring time at Matrix, and I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. It was so interesting to find out about the complex work of the practice team as I was not exposed to this before. Additionally, I enjoyed finding out about the diverse ways the practice team members have achieved their job which only made me feel excited about the future. I mostly enjoyed going to court and interacting with the barristers as I was so inspired and happy to talk to my role models. It was stimulating and great to meet new people and talk about interesting topics which I was eager to know about. 

I genuinely feel that this is the best and most impressionable experience I have ever had so far regarding my journey into law, and I will never forget it. I recommend this opportunity to anyone. Finally, I would like to thank all members of the practice team, especially Lindsay Clarke and Alice Brighthouse as well as the barristers we interacted with, David Wolfe KC and Toby Fisher and the interviewers of the future lawyers mentoring scheme, Venitia Tate and Sarah Walker for being so welcoming, polite, and interactive.