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Nico’s Week at Matrix

Day 1 

Following a long journey up to Matrix Chambers, I was nervous at first; however, this changed after I had a conversation with the receptionists, who were very welcoming. I was met by Lindsay, who showed us around and introduced us to the various groups of teams working within the chambers. We also met with the Fees and Finance team, who have been looking after us for the duration of our work experience. Eric and James, the fees team, spoke to us about where finances came from for the several types of cases, and they were highly informative. This brought us to our first task, where we researched the various methods of financing different cases and how money was involved between barristers and clients. I found this remarkably interesting as although I had researched the law and careers in law, this was something I had never considered, and I learnt lots of further details. 

We were shown around the Griffin building by Idris, who gave an interesting tour around the chambers, explaining the different rooms and what they were used for, as well as explaining how the Griffin building was a listed building with historical value, making it hard to renovate. This was helpful as it helped me to understand what life would be like for a barrister working in chambers and to see the decorated offices many barristers work in. What I found particularly interesting about the Griffin building was the fact that it had been a police station before becoming a legal chamber and still had holding cells in the basement.  

After our lunch break, we spoke with a trainee barrister who gave us insight into life as a trainee and helped outline the rigorous application process, giving us important advice on interviews and experience needed to become a barrister. This was especially useful as it helped me to understand the work needed to pursue a career as a barrister and helped me decide on future career options. 

Finally, we spoke to James, an assistant practice manager who showed us how he managed the days of different barristers, almost acting as an agent for different barristers working at Matrix. James showed us what his day would consist of, explaining how his work varied from assigning cases to barristers to booking flights and applying for work visas. James gave us an important insight into what it took to become a barrister, showing us the multiple types of training postgraduates must undergo to become qualified barristers. 

Day 2 

The second day of work experience consisted of an insightful trip to the Supreme Court, where we listened in on a court hearing on human rights. The case involved the barrister debating on the balance between freedom of speech and the right to privacy in the Human Rights Act, providing multiple convincing arguments. Having been my first actual time attending a court hearing, it was incredibly useful to see how barristers acted in courts, showing what life in that line of work would be like. It was also interesting to see the formalities and traditions within the Supreme Court, such as bowing to the judges and standing up while talking. 

Day 3 

On the morning of the third day of work experience, we continued with some of the remaining uncompleted tasks we had been set from earlier in the week. We then attended the Rolls building – a very modern court which contrasted significantly with the Supreme Court. We watched a remarkably interesting commercial case concerning two shoe businesses, and it was exciting to see a famous client represented by a Matrix barrister. This experience taught me a lot about what it was like to be a barrister presenting an argument in court. 

Day 4 

The final day of work experience started with us attending the amazing royal court of justice building. We attended a hearing concerning Insulate Britain and the contempt of court. I enjoyed hearing the barristers outline the different legal tests concerning the issue using legal vocabulary such as Actus Reus to outline their arguments in proving the defendant’s guilt or innocence. 

I would like to thank everyone at Matrix for this amazing opportunity to learn more about life on the legal side of work. I learnt so much during the four days at Matrix, and my experience was great thanks to all the kind staff and people I met. I learned what life in a workplace was like, as well as what life as a barrister was like. The experience has been helpful in giving me insight into deciding what my future career path could look like, has helped me further strengthen my knowledge of the law, and has helped me decide on the areas of the law I am interested in.