This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
The RPC vacation scheme gave a highly useful insight into life at the firm. I found the experience a true reflection of the realities of the legal profession and what working here would prove to be like. It was an enjoyable experience because HR had put a lot of time and effort into ensuring the scheme was as useful and well-planned as possible so that the students on the scheme really learned from their 2 weeks here.
Whilst at the firm, I was immediately immersed into department life. I was expected to manage my own work load in both departments I sat in and was given extensive responsibility compared to what many of my friends had previously experienced on vacation placements. I felt the work I was asked to do was actually used by the lawyers and was not merely set as a "project" to entertain us. Furthermore, the amount of effort that went into the vacation scheme made me feel highly valued throughout the placement.
Throughout the scheme, there was never a dull moment as each vacation scheme student had a packed itinerary! There was a good day of training at the beginning which ensured we knew how to use itinerary and technology within the firm. I also felt that everyone was happy to answer my questions and there was a good amount of transparency about what the final Training Contract assessments would entail. This helped me to feel very supported throughout the two weeks.
The skills that I learnt on the placement have already proved very useful whilst paralegalling. They taught me the importance of effective time management in the work place and how to strike a balance between professionalism and personality. The information I received also proved highly useful. The firm gave a series of workshops into life in different areas of the law - ie. commercial law, insurance law. This will help me to make choices about the areas of the profession I am interested in in the future.
The two week vacation scheme was flawlessly structured. It struck a good balance between networking events / social events with other trainees and actual legal work. I felt that I spent enough time on the department floors to make a real assessment of how the departments operated. However, I was also able to mix with a wide range of individuals from the firm and came away with a lot more confidence from learning about the different career paths and routes people had taken to get where they were.
The general atmosphere was incredibly friendly and warm. I found every person at the firm spoke very highly of their experiences at RPC, whilst talking honestly about the more difficult aspects of the legal profession. It felt very genuine and struck me as a firm which truly wanted people to bring their personalities to work with them.
The company invested a great deal of time over the two weeks to ensure that each vacation scheme student developed. They gave useful feedback on different aspects of the vacation scheme assessment, and a meeting with your department at the end of week helped you to consider the progress you had made and areas you could build on in the future. There was also the opportunity to network with individuals which proves crucial to development at a later date.
I would say the vacation scheme was 100% representative of life at the firm! I have now been working here for six weeks and felt the vacation scheme had prepared me very well for what paralegalling would entail here. During the vacation scheme, a series of opportunities were given to the vacation scheme students to meet different departments so that, even though there was only the opportunity to work in two departments over the two weeks, I came away with a real idea of how different areas of the firm operated.
The insight was true to company culture. I would describe RPC as: energetic, committed and warm. I felt there was a strong sense of working hard within the firm to achieve goals and progress, whilst maintaining strong interrelations between the firm.
The two week placement was incredibly value for me. It proved that RPC was a good fit for me and has led to me embarking on a future career with the firm from September 2018. I feel it re-cemented my decision to work at a commercial/insurance city law firm with a broad scope of work and a stellar reputation. There was a real sense that the lawyers here were proud of the work RPC produced.
Vacation scheme students were paid £600 over the two weeks.
Yes, there were a great deal of opportunities for networking. These firstly occurred in the form of morning workshops which allowed vacation scheme students to ask department specific questions. There was also a speed networking event with trainees in each department which gave us a flavour of the types of work we might experience on our training contract. There were several networking lunch which gave vacation scheme students the opportunities to meet Associates, Senior Associates and Partners too. Finally, we had the opportunity to socialise extensively with the trainees in relaxed environments - these included two evening events and a Brexit Breakfast just before the Referendum vote.
These opportunities were very informative and in many cases highly enjoyable. The social events allowed me to get to know the other students on the vacation scheme and the other trainees in an informal and unmonitored environment - this allows you to ask any questions you want to! There were also well-organised lunches and drinks with departments which enabled me to meet a wide range of individuals across the firm and feel fully immersed in RPC's culture from day one.
Yes. They were very keen to tell us about all the opportunities we would have for the future - especially as part of the house competitions! RPC has 3 houses: Reynolds, Porter and Chamberlain - and everyone was keen to say how much better their house was than the others. I learnt about the importance of welfare to individuals at the firm, with RPC offering weekly: yoga, massages and pilates. There are also a series of sports teams and a book club which operate throughout the firm.
Yes, and I already have! I think this firm reignited my passion to pursue a legal career and showed me there was more to life than just a mundane 24 hour a day job in a commercial city law firm.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Central London and City
1st November 2016