A really well structured scheme with plenty of time dedicated to learning about the role of a trainee and networking with staff. We were encouraged to get stuck in and were invited to client meetings, court and client phone calls. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone at the firm, and was very impressed with their attitude and dedication in getting to know us.
100% We were entrusted with real work and clients, and I found that everyone was appreciative of work that had been done and the words thank you were commonplace. People, including partners, took the time to explain what was expected and were happy to provide feedback. People of all levels of experience were interested in us and keen to get to know us as individuals, which made me feel valued.
The end of seat reviews were really helpful guidance and demonstrated what was required to improve and what staff wanted/expected from us. As well as this formal guidance, we were supported by a trainee buddy and supervisor each week, who were more than happy to provide support even though they were busy. Other members of the team (including partners) were also happy to chip in and help/provide assistance/explanations.
Learning how to interact with clients and build their trust is an invaluable skill in all walks of life. Managing expectations and negotiating realistic deadlines is a vital skill that was encouraged at RPC and will prevent longer-term burnout. Legal research skills will be invaluable in future studies and the workplace.
The scheme was very well structured and provided us with an opportunity to learn about two different departments in depth. There was also an opportunity to improve our own skills (blog-writing competition) and many networking opportunities to get to know different departments. I was impressed by how much was fitted into the two weeks. This was down to careful planning and early morning insight sessions. There was lots of opportunity to network and I really appreciated that RPC even provided the VS students with an opportunity to network/debrief without anyone from the firm on the first Friday of the scheme. This gave us an opportunity to really get to know each other and relax.
Excellent. The staff were very welcoming, and although everyone was very busy they were never too busy to make time for us, which really made me feel appreciated and part of the team. The scheme didn't have a competitive feel as RPC had successfully selected fantastic candidates that understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration.
They provided formal feedback sessions, giving us the tools to improve and work on our weaknesses for the second week. Supervisors provided us with comprehensive feedback, and trainee buddies were supportive and provided advice to help us develop throughout. We were also provided with guidance of what RPC is looking for in a successful candidate, making the process transparent and unbiased.
Very much so. As the office was open plan there were many opportunities to get stuck in and help out in other areas of the department and find out more about the roles different departments do. Due to the open plan nature, it was evident that the firm does not have a face-time culture.
Having the opportunity to network with individuals at every stage of their career provided an invaluable opportunity to get to know the culture of the firm. Informal speed networking sessions, networking lunches and extra curricular activities all provided an opportunity to see what the culture is like first hand. It is hard to hide the true culture of a firm in an open plan office, and the atmosphere always felt supportive and inclusive.
I had already decided my future career path before the vacation scheme, but the scheme did help open my eyes to other areas of law that I had not known enough about beforehand. I would definitely recommend that my friends put culture first when choosing where they want to work, as a supportive atmosphere (as found at RPC) is conducive to learning, development and mental wellbeing.
RPC were also very generous and pre-loaded our lunch cards. The canteen food was amazing and there was so much choice, so the pre-loaded lunch cards were greatly appreciated. RPC definitely know the way to a Vacation Scheme student's heart! We were also rewarded with lots of socials and free breakfasts when there was a morning session.
So many, please see above. There was a treasure hunt on our first day, where we were able to learn about the support side of the business, and meet staff who dealt with IT, reprographics and branding etc. (In-)Formal speed networking sessions to get to know all the main departments, networking lunches, networking socials, department presentations with partners, and opportunities on the floor in the open-plan office. We were also encouraged to message other employees to arrange a coffee & chat to find out about their departments if we were interested, and the pre-loaded lunch cards covered this too! And the internal MSN equivalent gave us an opportunity to liaise with staff informally throughout the two weeks.
Really well thought out and very varied. For example, the crazy golf with trainees was arranged to start at 8pm, but we were encouraged to meet up at 5:30pm to head to the venue together. This meant we had lots of time to talk and get to know the trainees before we started golfing.
Yes, this was explained in presentations during our time there, and people were very happy to discuss what they were involved in. The firm seems open to allowing staff to start new initiatives and encouraging people to get involved. As people seem to get on so well, there is plenty of opportunity to socialise.
I already have, and I will continue to do so. This is by far the best scheme I have attended as RPC really made an effort to get to know us, to provide us with opportunities to get involved and know the firm, and to provide us with invaluable advice for the future regardless of the outcome of the scheme, all the while spoiling us and making us feel valued.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
26th July 2018