I applied for the RPC Summer Scheme after meeting the firm at the Manchester Law Fair. RPC really stood out as a forward thinking, friendly, mid-size firm with exceptional clients, which was exactly what I was looking for.
I applied for the Summer Scheme, in order to gain an insight into what life at RPC would be like. I would strongly recommend applying for a Summer Scheme. It confirmed to me that RPC was the right firm for me; I learned so much about the firm during the Scheme, it allowed me to be as well placed as possible when it came to the interview.
My first seat was in Commercial Disputes. I was initially slightly daunted, as it is one of the firm’s largest and busiest departments. However, both the firm and the Commercial Disputes team provided an excellent New-Starter Programme, with various presentations and training sessions, which meant that I felt much better equipped going into the seat.
As Commercial Disputes is a litigious team, my main tasks involved drafting court documents, disclosure review, drafting witness statements and preparing for and attending hearings. The highlight of my seat was attending on a client that manufactured aircraft parts, as part of the witness evidence process. I made a site visit to the factory, which was incredibly interesting and beneficial to my understanding of the case.
I am currently in my second seat and on secondment to an insurer client, working in their in-house legal team, as part of RPC’s Corporate Insurance and Financial Services team. There are plenty of opportunities at RPC for secondments to clients and to RPC’S international offices. My secondment has been an excellent opportunity and a big responsibility, particularly so early on in my training contract. It has allowed me to build my professional network, gain an insight into what clients want from their lawyers and the type of service that they value.
I have had considerable responsibility during my first two seats but I have always felt extremely well supported, which is testament to the fact that RPC trust and value their trainees and care about their development. The open plan office is really beneficial, as it facilitates a collaborative, non-hierarchical environment, where it is very easy to ask questions and learn from the more senior people that you sit with. Trainees have a trainee buddy, a mentor and a Partner and Associate supervisor in each seat.
One of the best things about RPC is that it is forward thinking and always ready to adapt. This is demonstrated not just by its approach to market issues and client work but also to its employees. RPC has a commitment to health and wellbeing and fully embraces flexible working.
Trainees are encouraged to participate in the social and business development events at the firm and there is always plenty going on (take a look at @lifeinalawfirm to see some of what we get up to!). The trainees also have a blog on the RPC Website where they publish articles on current commercial issues.
Upon joining the firm, everyone is assigned to a house (Reynolds, Porter or Chamberlain). There is a good mix of firm-wide and house events. Aside from the organised events, one of the lovely things about RPC is that people often just go for a coffee in the RPC Café in London to catch up with friends/colleagues.
The qualities that attracted me to RPC were its people, its culture and its clients. My expectations have definitely been met and exceeded. RPC has provided me with an exciting and beneficial environment in which to begin my legal career.