The Bar has been an ambition of mine for about 2 years, and work experience at Matrix proved to be an extremely good way of consolidating my passion for the law.
First walking through the doors of Matrix, I was extremely anxious to know what I would be doing for the next week in chambers. I was immediately put at ease by the staff at reception, who greeted me and showed me to a waiting area where I sat until my colleague, Oskar, arrived a few minutes later.
We were then shown up by Lindsey to the office space we would be working in. We then went through a quick induction where we met Rachel from Legal Support Services, who showed us our first task. We had to do a legal task looking at competing human rights, specifically Art. 8 and 10. We then went to see Rachel from Marketing, who asked us to do some research into some speakers at a general counsel conference; it was very informative to look at alternative jobs in Law.
The facilities team then asked us to plan a barrister’s travel plan for speaking at conferences and presenting cases at international courts. This was our final task of the day, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
I approached our next day at matrix with the same level of excitement as the first. We were met at the door of the office and promptly handed skeleton arguments for the court case we would be observing that day; an employment tribunal. It was an appeal from a lower court on a very interesting and new point of law. We listened to the submissions put forwards by the barristers in admiration. After having a quick debrief with Mark Greaves, we went out for a coffee to talk about how to enter into the profession and which areas of law we would like to practice in. After walking back to chambers, we left the building elated, and in apprehension of what would happen the next day.
When we arrived at Matrix the next day, we were told that we would be spending the morning working for the fees and finance team and the clerks, and that we would spend the afternoon in the Central Criminal Courts (CCC). After learning about how a barrister’s fees work and the way chambers uses money, we then learnt about how a barrister’s cases are organised by the clerks.
After lunch, we made our way to the CCC. After clearing security, we consulted our lists and made our way to our cases of choice: I chose a terrorism one, whilst my college chose to see a sexual assault case. The terror case was extremely interesting as when I walked in, the barristers were having a legal argument about admissible evidence. When both our cases had finished, we met up and discussed them on the Tube ride back.
On Thursday, we were taken to cover the case of Samira Ahmed v BBC by Claire Darwin. We found the day extremely informative and enjoyed watching one of the most famous cases going on in the country.
After lunch, we then went to the Old Bailey again and continued watching the cases that we started the day before. There was some extremely good advocacy in the cases and it was good to see how they transpired the next day; the style of questioning and skills of the barristers was unlike anything I had seen at my local crown court.
On our final day, we stayed in the office and did some work for Legal Support Services. It was interesting to see the support network that barristers have relating to the law.
We were then taken to a mock interview where we had to prepare and present a task. It was very useful to experience an interview and get some feedback about how I came across in interview.
We were then taken to coffee with Matrix’s pupil –Roisin and talked about ways into the bar, and the skills needed.
Winston Churchill said: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work again.” I believe that this week has confirmed my ambition to join the Bar, and I have loved every minute of it.