It was a very well-run programme at an incredibly welcoming firm. Trainees, associates and partners were all friendly and did their best to ensure we achieved the most from the Summer Scheme. The work I was asked to contribute towards felt authentic and I could tell that it would be of benefit to the departments. Every person I spoke to at the firm was friendly and provided a candid insight into how the firm looked like from the inside.
I certainly felt as though my presence was valued. It left a very positive impression on me when the Head of Department and other partners where I was working made an effort to find me and introduce themselves to me. There was a genuine atmosphere that the summer scheme participants were welcome to find out as much as they could about the firm.
On the first day of the scheme we participated in an exercise that involved visiting the lesser known, but crucial areas of any law firm: e.g. reprographics, IT support, the library and the cash point. The scheme organisers were incredibly welcoming and ensured that there was plenty of support in place if we needed it. It was a very welcome gesture to have received a generous amount of spending money at the firm's cafe - this allowed the summer scheme students to network with each other and other fee-earners at the firm.
I certainly learned a great deal during the insight that I will be able to apply to my current position as a paralegal. During my tasks I received constructive feedback that highlighted what I did well in addition to points to improve on. As the tasks I was working on were genuinely useful to the fee-earners, I received an honest look into the type of work I might be involved in as a trainee.
The insight was very structured, I felt as though there was a good balance of time spent working in departments, networking and participating in group activities. At all times I was aware of where I supposed to be. The second week was a little more busy with slightly less time spent in departments, but as this was due to an assessed group exercise it could not really be helped.
As mentioned in previous responses, the summer scheme felt authentic. I never got the impression that I was handed work that was purely designed to keep me busy. This showed that the firm was genuinely grateful for our presence and this positive attitude shone through at all levels. I would wholeheartedly recommend the RPC summer scheme as I do not believe there is a better way to appreciate what an overwhelmingly friendly working environment is on offer for future trainees.
We received an IT induction on the first day which helped ensure that people who have lived off Apple products all their life did not experience culture shock when we started working in the departments. I received feedback on all the work I was completing for fee-earners and felt as though I understood what was required of me to improve.
Being given so many networking opportunities, both formal and informal, allowed me to hear many different perspectives. Not only from differing levels of seniority, but from different departments also. As a result I believe that I was really offered the chance to be shown what a full time role within RPC would look like.
Doing a Summer Scheme or other Vacation Scheme at any firm will provide you with a good insight as to what the firm looks like "behind the marketing". This was also the case here - RPC is a genuinely nice and friendly place to work. All colleagues I spoke to were welcoming yet they took great pride in their jobs. Partners were approachable and took a genuine interest in your general life situation as well as the work you were completing in their departments.
There were plenty of opportunities, both formal and informal, for networking across the firm. A real effort was made for the summer scheme participants to find out about all of the different departments to ensure that we were aware of the type of work carried out across the firm. Social activities with trainees also ensured that we were able to ask candid questions in a more relaxed environment, which helped to provide an excellent insight into RPC.
We received a good mix of networking and social event opportunities. As mentioned previously, all departments came and introduced their work to us and we were invited to ask questions. A "speed networking" session was an excellent way to provide further insight into the type of work that a trainee might be doing in different departments. The social activities were varied and very enjoyable. A particular highlight was the firm organising drinks and nibbles for the summer scheme students only - no trainees or other firm representatives.