×

Abbey’s Week at Matrix

18-03-24

When I came into reception, Christine and Melanie greeted me. They were incredibly friendly and immediately eased my nerves about being confronted with intimidating work experience. Afterwards, I met Alice, was introduced to the wider team at Matrix, and completed the induction, which included essential information and standard rules and regulations.

We jumped straight into work after being introduced to James and completed a task on what it means to be a barrister. Through this, I was introduced to legal jargon so we would become acclimatised to vocabulary used throughout the week and during court proceedings towards the end of the experience. We utilised the resources provided and Google to provide detailed answers. After this task, I met Eric and Lauren on the Fees and Finance Team. It was incredibly interesting to learn the difference between legal aid, pro bono and CFAs, and the pros and cons of each. This was something I had pondered before, as I understood that barristers were self-employed, but did not understand how their fees were channelled through the chambers. Eric explained the process of payments by displaying several cases on the digital system: it was a very engaging session and one of my unexpected favourites.

We then spoke to the LSS team, with Nandini and Dan explaining what their role was. I found this particularly interesting, as they got to explore a variety of legal areas, with Dan showing us a compiled list of all the key cases containing phone hacking. I expressed my interest in this area, as I was acquainted with the Milly Dowler case through my study of Media A-Level. I questioned what their favourite thing that they had recently studied, with Dan explaining how he spotted a contradiction regarding policing legislation in Northern Ireland!

Afterwards, Richard took us on a tour of Gray’s Inn, going into great detail about its historical importance. We learnt about how the building had evolved through damage caused by WW2 and how Gray’s Inn was an amalgamation of different periodic architecture, primarily brought about by Sir Francis Bacon (who eventually ended up in the Tower of London due to owing over £72 million’s worth of debt!)

 

19-03-24

In the morning, we completed some leftover tasks from the day before, including a task from Nandini and Dan about a fictional TV presenter who is seeking action against The Sun newspaper as they are going to publish a story claiming that she has had plastic surgery. I searched through archives of legislation, including the Human Rights Act 1998 c.42, which stipulates that one has a right to privacy. This was very intriguing.

We then did a marketing task, investigating the outreach of multiple firms through their website and social media pages. We learnt why marketing was so important and particular to barristers, which was something I had not yet considered as I knew barristers were not usually approached by members of the public.

Then, we had to do the interview and presentation for the Future Lawyers scheme held by Matrix. Although I was very nervous when crafting the presentation, James and Lauren were very friendly when it came time to present, making me feel comfortable. Although a stressful experience, it is one I am glad for, providing me with a wealth of experience when going to interviews in the future.

 

20-03-24

Today, we went to court to see a judge on homelessness, with Nick Armstrong KC acting as the prosecution. It was an intriguing case, with Nick giving us a briefing beforehand. It was difficult to comprehend all the legal jargon at first, especially since we didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the case, but we gathered more as we went along, picking up on the strategy and style of advocacy each party used. I also learnt about how bundles worked.

During the adjournment, we conversed with Nick about how he felt the case was going. It was great to converse with him and gather all of his observations before heading back into the Royal Couts of Justice (of which the gothic architecture was amazing!). Unfortunately, we had to leave before the judge reached a conclusion as we had to be back at Matrix by 5, but I conversed with Nick by email to ask what the end result was.

 

21-03-24

Today, we went to The Rolls Building and so got to experience one of the other primary courts in London. This building was far more modern, and none of the barristers we saw wore wigs! It juxtaposed the very traditional experience we had yesterday, illustrated through the gothic architecture of the Royal Courts of Justice. We were seated in an overflow court, as it was a very high-profile case: the Duke of Sussex’s claim against News Group Ltd. (owned by News Corp and Rupert Murdoch). Although it was interesting to see the case, a different aspect of this claim was the journalists and press present. When we approached The Rolls Building, photographers were stationed and ready for the lawyers to emerge. In the overflow room, many journalists were present, typing away. This made the case different to the legal aid case we had viewed the day prior, and so we left the experience with a holistic view of the legal system and advocacy.