I first came across RPC when I met some of their trainees at a law fair. They encouraged me to attend an event they were organising on campus. The event made a great impression on me – the trainees ran a negotiation exercise and took us to play some ping pong afterwards. They explained the work RPC does and seemed to enjoy their roles and get on well with the other trainees in their intake.
I then attended the RPC Summer vacation scheme. RPC recruits trainees largely from its vacation scheme, so if you are interested in the firm I would definitely recommend applying. It cannot only maximise your chances of getting a training contract, but also allow you to experience the culture of the firm first hand.
We spent two weeks at the firm and our time was split between two different departments. I was given the chance to do research for the team, sit in on meetings with clients and write a blog post on a topical issue. There were also a number of opportunities to network with people at all levels of seniority throughout the firm. RPC’s culture and the quality of work and client base really impressed me, so I was delighted to accept the training contract offer I received after the Summer scheme.
As part of a training contract you do four six month ‘seats’ in different departments. In our first two weeks at the firm we had skillsbased training sessions. We then had department-specific training on the legal basics. However, a lot of what I learnt was on the job, whether from colleagues or other trainees.
My first seat was in ‘Commercial Contracts and Intellectual Property’. I got involved in a fascinating variety of work – from reviewing short contracts and data protection addenda, to providing trainee support for a series of negotiations on a tender. I particularly enjoyed working on matters for such a range of clients – from IT providers and insurers to businesses in retail and social media.
For my second seat I am currently on a client secondment to the M&A Underwriting team at a major global insurer. The team provides insurance for the warranties given when one business is buying another. My role involves reviewing and amending non-disclosure agreements and preparing first drafts of insurance quotes for underwriters. RPC has a number of really interesting client secondments. These provide an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the kind of challenges that clients face, and ensure that the work product RPC provides is tailored suitably to reflect this.
As a trainee you are encouraged to seek informal feedback from those you work with. It helps that RPC is open plan and is known for partner approachability. Getting feedback on tasks as you go along can be one of the best ways to learn and improve. In a slightly more formal setting you have a mid-seat review and an end of seat review. Your supervisors will discuss with you areas that you enjoyed and think you did well in and any areas where you think you could improve.
One RPC ‘perk’ which I particularly enjoy is the location. The building overlooks the Tower of London and St Katharine Docks. The design of the building means that there is a lot of light and you get some beautiful views.
We also have some great things going on outside of work. I enjoy playing for the highly successful netball team (whose victories I cannot claim any credit for) and being a member of the blog team, editing and publishing trainee articles on our Trainees Take on Business blog