Sat in two departments of the firm and worked alongside the trainees, associates and partners.
I really enjoyed the placement and finished with a strong sense of accomplishment. From the first day of the programme I felt like a valued member of team who people were willing to take time with and invest in. I particularly enjoyed getting involved with the work that the lawyers were actually working on. This involved meetings out of the office and calls with clients.
I felt very valued while I was at the firm. It worked in a two fold manner; firstly I was a valuable asset to the team to the extent that I could do tasks which would save other people time. Secondly, people really took their time to explain things to me and helped me understand very difficult concepts. It felt as if many of the tasks I did were of use to somebody in the team as opposed to simply being tasks which I was being assessed for.
In the insurance department I was set a very difficult task which required a lot of guidance. My trainee buddy was extremely helpful in guiding me with where to focus my research but not spoon feeding me the answers. It also helped that at the end of the tasks I completed, I had associates and partners to review the work with. This meant that I knew it would be explained to me when I had found all that I could.
I think the independent research and the critical reviewing of documents will definitely assist in helping me narrow my search and focus when doing various types of tasks. I was often given various tasks which involved hundreds of pages of documents any only a few would be relevant. I understand the value in taking time to understand where to look before I start looking.
It was very well structured. There was a feeling in my departments that people were expecting me as a vac scheme student. This meant people were more forthcoming with tasks and more willing to help. The structure was aided by having training buddies and supervisors who were always prepared to help or give me work. The scheme followed a coherent timetable and was executed well. I knew what was going and where I needed to be at all times. HR stayed in touch constantly which made things much easier.
The atmosphere was quite unique. People were incredibly friendly and approachable but very hard working at the same time. The general atmosphere is quite relaxed and easy to become accustomed to. The vac scheme students were made to feel very welcome and were part of the team while we were here.
There was a lot of time spent by senior members of the team helping me to understand things. Before I was asked to do anything, tasks were explained to me and I was given context on each case. This was compounded by the fact that any questions which I had were answered thoroughly. Everyone was always willing to take time out to go for a coffee and answer questions which were slightly outside of the scope of my work.
The insight helped me to really get a grasp of what is expected of a trainee in my departments I sat in. I think there could have been more transparency in terms of what the NQ lawyers and partners do. However. watching the lawyers work in the open plan office almost nullifies that point to some extent.
Invaluable experience of spending two weeks at the firm. 'The people' is one of the USP's for the firm and I learnt a lot by seeing how collaborative and friendly everybody is. The culture definitely plays a big part in the company being successful commercially as the clients like working with the lawyers and keep coming back.
I have already decided that I want to be a lawyer but I think working at RPC has made me see what type of lawyer I want to be. RPC lawyers have a profession but they also still have a life. I want a career where I can progress and one day be sought for guidance from junior lawyers. RPC has shown me the type of firm I aspire to work at.
The pay was fair and I am happy.
There were various networking opportunities to network with lawyers from all over the firm at speed networking events and lunches. However, the best thing about RPC is that everyone has time for you if you want to find out more. If you are particularly interested in something then it is easy to find someone who is willing to discuss all of that stuff.
I really enjoyed them. It was difficult to speak to everybody at some events but I left each event feeling like I knew more about the firm. Everybody was able to answer the questions I had with honesty. I enjoyed the seamless nature of events. Grad recruitment made sure we all had a chance to talk to the people we wanted to.
I actually played for the RPC football team during my vac scheme which gave me first hand experience of what you can get involved with outside of work. The house system allows people from different sectors in the firm to come together and do things outside of work. I was also made aware of various other social events and activities which are made available to employees.
100% I would recommend. It was two very enjoyable weeks and I believe I learned a lot about the firm but also a lot about what I want from a career. I have recommended the firm to friends as I have particularly enjoyed the vac scheme. It is also a very well respected firm which therefore makes it very good experience to have.