I was initially attracted to RPC thanks to a combination of the firm's culture and its spread of work. From personal experience and talking to other lawyers I was conscious that maintaining a pleasant workplace is not always a priority at some City firms. There are lots of buzzwords used to describe the environment at RPC – non-hierarchical, supportive and friendly – and there really is a uniquely nice atmosphere. Despite the smaller size of the office(which helps create this collegiate feel), RPC still has a wide range of contentious and non-contentious seats to choose from as a trainee, with each offering interesting work and an excellent opportunity to see which route you would like to take in your future career.
I gained my Training Contract with RPC through a direct application. The assessment day involved a written exercise, a presentation and a competency-based interview. The structure is still the same [CHECK]. I would recommend that anyone thinking of applying to RPC attends an open day and then applies for a vacation scheme first – I think I was a bit lucky to get my foot in the door via such a direct route!
My first two seats have been in Intellectual Property and Commercial Disputes, both of which are contentious. The typical tasks that I have been responsible for, and which other trainees would expect to be involved in, have included; email and letter drafting, legal research and document management. The case I am currently working on involves a huge number of documents, so making sure that both RPC and counsel's copies of the chronological run of documents are up to date and consistent has been one of my most important jobs.
The level of responsibility that you will receive will depend upon the size of the case and the team, but even on the largest cases people are conscious of trying to provide you with a diverse range of activities to help your development. Some particular highlights have included an on-site visit to a major newspaper client, drafting an advice note on free-to-distribute items and preparing reports on a terrestrial television show, which helped an investigation into whether the show's activities constituted a breach of privacy.
I really enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie that comes from working on a large case and completing a major case management stage against a deadline always come with a certain buzz. Wrangling with a tricky legal question by researching case law and using textbooks also offers an enjoyable intellectual challenge.
A major RPC perk is the office. Tower Bridge House is an aesthetic gem and offers great views out over the Tower of London. St Katharine's Dock is also a lovely place to workand has a great food market on Fridays. There is also a firm football and netball team, which play each week. Another perk is the secondment options – at the time of writing I am in the process of packing, as I am about to fly out to Hong Kong to start my third seat there!