Having graduated from King’s College London with a degree in History, I spent a year interning in a variety of industries - journalism, the charity sector and the legal industry. After a string of legal work placements and a 'taster course' at BPP, I decided that a career in law was for me. I enrolled onto the GDL at the University of Law and didn’t look back.
My first exposure to RPC was at an Insight day whilst I was studying the GDL. What impressed me most about the firm was its inclusive culture, progressive business strategy and genuine investment in its people. Needless to say, I was quickly sold. Fast forward 6 months and I had successfully made it onto the firm’s two week Summer Scheme. I spent the fortnight working with two different legal teams as well as taking part in a host of social activities and a group business project. During the two weeks, I quickly realised that training at a mid-sized firm, like RPC, offers the best of both worlds - exposure to high quality work and great clients on one hand, with the greater responsibility and recognition that comes with working in closer-knit teams on the other. RPC jumped straight to the top of my list and I was thrilled to be offered a training contract with the firm starting in September 2015.
My first seat was in the firm’s market-leading Professional and Financial Risks team. I was mainly involved in solicitors' negligence work which involves defending other law firms, and advising their insurers, in respect of professional indemnity claims. As a heavy litigation team, trainees in PFR develop a strong foundation in ’bread and butter’ disputes work, such as drafting applications, working on disclosure and witness statements and attending hearings. The real highlight, however, was attending a high-profile trial at the Royal Courts of Justice!
I am currently in my second seat, in Intellectual Property. The team's practice spans both contentious and non-contentious IP work - from trade mark and copyright litigation to providing corporate support and advising clients on licence agreements and brand protection. This breadth of work makes it an excellent seat to develop as a commercial lawyer and whilst the work is challenging, the team's well-established new-starter training programme and regular feedback sessions ensures that I feel constantly supported. There's also plenty of opportunity for client contact and involvement in business development - so far I've helped prepare a pitch for a new publishing client and a webinar on anti-counterfeiting. It's a fantastic way to build up the technical knowledge required as an IP lawyer.
My first two seats demonstrate the variety of work which RPC, as a full service firm, offers you as a trainee. From pure litigation to non-contentious advisory work, trainees have the opportunity to not only find their 'niche' but to develop a broad range of skills in the process. What's more, with numerous in-house secondments as well as an international secondment to the Hong Kong office on offer, a training contract at RPC offers a rich and rewarding two years.
Trainees are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the life of the firm. Since joining I’ve recorded a Christmas charity single with the RPC choir, attended the glitzy annual insurance party, played with the RPC netball team and joined the editorial team of the Trainee Business Blog. RPC’s house system also offers a fantastic way to connect with people from around the firm. Through my role on the committee for Reynolds House, I have helped organise Ping-Pong tournaments and quiz nights. Reynolds' very own festival R-Fest is next so watch this space!