Vacation scheme for a training contract
A really full programme of events was provided for us - we had at least a workshop or networking every day. I felt that the programme was a really great way of involving us in the firm and giving us a better idea of what life would be like as a trainee at RPC.
The firm really tries to make vacation schemers feel welcome and involve themselves in the events that are organised - often attended by lawyers at all levels. I think it is hard to feel completely valued in the work that you produce during a vacation scheme but overall RPC did a really good job - providing a supervisor and buddy for each week who were active in involving me in the work, as well as taking time to explain various aspects of the departments (and the firm).
If there were any questions at any point, my supervisor or buddy or another member of each department or, indeed, another colleague in the firm was willing to answer. I found that Graduate Recruitment were also very approachable, which cannot be said for all law firms, and made time to answer questions on a one-to-one basis, actually questions that were answered to us as a group at the end of the scheme.
I think that the experience will assist me greatly as I start the LPC as I now have a better knowledge of how negligence, regulatory and litigation actually work in practice. This is very useful to give context to my studies and to understand how to research these areas further prior to starting a training contract.
The social side of the programme, including the induction and all the workshops and networking events was structured extremely well. The work side of the programme was not as well-structured but I think this is the way in any organisation, where priorities are constantly changing. I do think it would be helpful, however, to have a list of tasks that could be completed by a vacation schemer prior to the scheme starting which would help in the initial few days.
Very positive. Everyone within the firm was very welcoming and often people stopped for a chat on their way to the lift or in the cafe. This seemed to be the way that colleagues at RPC interact between themselves and it seemed like a positive business culture to work in.
There was some training on the first day at the induction - on 'personal brand' and 'growth mindset' and then also some IT training and an hour-long session about the resources available at the firm - online legal databases. This was more extensive than I have experienced at other firms and was either useful during the scheme or I am sure will prove useful going forward in my legal career.
It helped to have a good understanding, although perhaps not totally around the tasks that can be expected as a trainee. We were given a very positive experience, as would be expected, with lots of perks (breakfasts, lunches, etc.). However, I do believe that life at RPC would be full of similar experiences.
The insight was full of networking opportunities which allowed us to meet people from the firm. We were also given full access to the Intranet and to departmental emails that allowed us to see how colleagues communicate with each other, as well as all the internal news about achievements. We were also given the opportunity to attend London Pride - a great chance to meet more people from the firm who involved us during the day and were as keen to meet us as we were to meet them!
I felt that the two-week insight programme was really invaluable in providing me with the opportunity to experience life as a lawyer at RPC and, indeed, at a commercial law firm. It was really helpful to learn more about the insurance side of the business as that is a big part of the firm and one that every lawyer at RPC would be expected to be involved in - at least one seat and an insurance module on the LPC.
We were paid for the two weeks (£300 per week) and reimbursed for travel expenses up to £75. We were also given £70 for lunch and coffees in the cafe which could be topped up by Graduate Recruitment on request. Most of us still had around £30 left as the cafe is subsidised and so the prices are very reasonable!
As mentioned above, we were given lots of opportunities to network and meet other employees of the firm - these ranged from insurance or commercial workshops and speed networking sessions to an external insurance networking event with clients. We also had the opportunity to attend Pride as part of the Diversity agenda, which allowed us to network with other people from the firm (not just lawyers but HR and other supporting functions).
We had two socials with trainees during the scheme - crazy golf and a dinner at Coppa Club, both of which were great opportunities to meet with both current and future trainees at the firm and chat to them about their experiences and what life as a trainee is really like.
Yes. Some of the boys on the scheme played football one night with colleagues from the firm. There is also a netball league. In terms of diversity and inclusion, there are a lot of opportunities to involve yourself in a group (or more than one).
Definitely. It was a packed agenda with lots of great opportunities to find out more about the firm. We were given the opportunity to take part in a blog competition but this was not mandatory. There were no reports or other tasks demanded of us during our time, with the exception of the interview on the final day.