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Saheera’s Week at Matrix

Day 1

I was extremely nervous about coming to spend a week at the chambers, but when I got here and was greeted by Lindsay, she told me what I would be doing during the week.

  • Meeting the Marketing team, which would help me gain a wider knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes and the many distinct roles within the field of Law itself.
  • Coffee with Mariam, who is a media barrister – speaking with her helped me gain insight into the different pathways of law, how the bar exam is structured, and how different the journey to becoming a barrister is for everyone.
  • Talking to the fees department – where I met Lauren, which was extremely useful as we spoke about how a barrister who is working privately may make money, and one who is taking on government funded cases may make money.
  • Met with James who is a barrister’s clerk, discussed his role and what his typical day might look like. Talked about how he started off as a junior clerk and gained experience.
  • Met with Alice who is the Projects and Equality & Inclusion manager and spoke about how Matrix shows diversity and inclusivity.

Overall, the first day helped me gain insight into the distinct roles of law and how different pathways can be taken to achieve the same things as everyone else. I enjoyed talking to everyone as it provided me with knowledge I may previously not have known and doing the tasks throughout the day helped me add to my set of skills. I found talking to Lauren from the fees team extremely helpful, as I did not have much knowledge about legal aid and how the different situations may work (privately funded and public funded). Talking to James helped me develop an understanding of his job as the barristers’ clerk and how he links solicitors to barristers. The team here at Matrix so far have been lovely to work with, and they are extremely easy to talk to and always willing to answer questions and help me gain a sound understanding of things I may not understand.

Day 2

  • Met Rich who assisted me down to court and informed me about his role and what he does.
  • At court, I met Zoe who is a barrister, and Ben who is a junior barrister.

Overall going to court and getting the experience of being there and watching a case first-hand has really shown me the realistic side of becoming a barrister. Also seeing how the whole thing plays out is extremely valuable as it may be something I want to do in the future. After the court hearing was finished, I really enjoyed watching Zoe and Ben talk about their next steps and what they are going to do. A main part of being a barrister, is advocacy, and you are not always able to see that in real life but going to court and being able to listen to that was extremely interesting.  Speaking to Zoe regarding her pathway into law was useful, as it helped me gain an understanding of how the route of law is different for everyone.

Day 3

  • Went to court and listened to the hearing.

Going back to the court and listening to the barristers helped me really understand the role I may want to do one day. The judge asking questions and seeing how the barristers answered them was interesting, as they were exceedingly subjective questions. This whole experience allows me to explore a career I want to go into beforehand, and lets me see what roles I may have to play. However, it also helps me understand the hard work and dedication that goes into being a barrister and how it is not an easy career to work in. You must be confident and hardworking, and be able to view things in many ways in order to become an impactful barrister. You must be open minded and be able to take criticism. Being able to go to court also allows me to develop a sound understanding of the teamwork that plays into a hearing. Being able to see everything in real life lets me gain experience, so that I can work out if this is the job I want to go into in the future.

Day 4

  • Last day of court was cut short as I had to leave, however, I enjoyed listening to the hearing as it was closing.

Day 5

Worked with Venetia today who has been so lovely to work with.

  • Met Daniel on the legal support service, who was extremely nice to talk to. I was able to develop an understanding of what he does as part of the legal support service.
  • I was interviewed by Venetia and Sarah; this experience allowed me to gain a sense of future interviews may look like, and the type of questions I may be asked. The interview allowed me to understand how I may need to answer questions for a future interview. It also allowed me to express myself, and find out how well I would do under pressure in a real life scenario. I also got to speak to Sarah and Venetia about their experiences and route into working in a chambers.
  • We got the chance to speak to the receptionists (Christine and Melanie) who explained to us their role and what they do to keep the chambers working.
  • Speaking to Simon and Nina on the practice teams helped me gain insight into what goes on behind the scenes of putting everything together for a barrister.

Overall the whole week has been amazing, meeting everyone and working with them has allowed me to gain so much experience. I feel as if I understand the inner workings of a chambers. Being able to experience a whole week has allowed me to explore what a job at a barristers chamber would look like in the future for me. The team at matrix are lovely and have no problem helping you understand something you don’t get. I also enjoyed hearing about everyone’s different pathways to working here. This really helped me establish that I can take a different approach and still be able to work in a chambers. I want to thank Matrix for this amazing opportunity. I know this will help strengthen my personal statement. As I go on to pursue higher education and university life, I know this will help me throughout my career.