I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at RPC, from the networking opportunities to working on real day-to-day tasks. I also enjoyed meeting my team and having informal conversations with them. The culture at RPC is very critical to the firm and that is definitely reflected in its lawyers. I also enjoyed my first virtual trivia night with fellow RPC trainees, which was a great opportunity to forge connections with my peers and also learn random facts.
Everybody at RPC, specifically the department I worked with, all took the initiative to get to know us beyond just our names and the universities we came from. They also encouraged us to participate in the business blog competition which had the potential to get published on the RPC website for the selected winner. I was introduced to wider teams that were not directly relevant to my day-to-day tasks but just as a way of getting to know everyone and feel like part of the team.
I was assigned a supervisor as well as a trainee buddy, which was very helpful to speak to two different individuals at different paths in their career and to get their insight on the firm and the work being done. My supervisor and I spoke every single day during my vacation scheme, sometimes up to two times a day to discuss the tasks, ask any questions I had, and sometimes just for an informal catch-up. In fact, at the end of my time at RPC, my supervisor prepared comprehensive and 360 feedback on all aspects of the vacation scheme.
This included contract review, where I learned to pay attention to detail and I enjoyed going through line by line to see what was inconsistent or what should be flagged as an issue. I also took on the challenge to write a business blog which pushed me to take on a large amount of research and develop a short piece that was both engaging and concise. I learned to think on my feet, work well under pressure, and how to ask for help.
The scheme was very well structured. The firm had prepared and constructed a set of five tasks for each candidate to complete. The tasks were based on real-life scenarios within the firm, and served across a variety of skills depending on the department the candidate was sitting in. Though we had the five tasks, our supervisors were also incredibly flexible when it came to deadlines and submissions as long as we were able to communicate with them and be open. We also had many networking opportunities (and in fact, many people within the firm reached out themselves to have virtual coffees with the candidates and get to know them). To say the least, we were kept busy and engaged throughout the scheme.
The culture at RPC is impeccable. Everybody is generally very nice and always willing to help and chat. I did not find it difficult to network or communicate with the lawyers virtually, as they all took initiative to be involved and to get to know us, which was definitely appreciated and noticed. Ellinor and Lowri are both incredibly nice and very understanding, and you can tell they genuinely have your best interest at heart. Overall, I found the atmosphere very inviting and welcoming.
In terms of personal training and development, the firm invested a lot in each of the members participating in the vacation scheme. They assigned each of us a training buddy as well as a supervisor, both of whom were readily available and excited to help out in any circumstance. They also set up numerous training seminars and web series on the different parts of the firm in order for us to learn about everything at the company. They set up assignments, evaluations, and everything in order to make sure we get the most out of the experience.
The insight was very good in helping me understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company. I went out of my way also to ask different team members across teams at RPC what their journey had been like at RPC, particularly individuals who had received their training at the firm. I learned a lot about how there are continuous opportunities to grow and learn and how you get more and more responsibility the longer you are with the firm.
This was one of the most comprehensive parts of the training scheme. We were given a group task to assess and write about RPC's culture and what makes it stand out compared to other law firms, not just in London, but law firms all around the world. We were able to interview various RPC team members across different offices and ask them for their perspective on the culture. Our final product was a combination of their insights and our own perspective as participants of the vacation scheme.
The content during the vacation scheme was very helpful for me in deciding my future career path. I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in law; however, this vacation scheme confirmed for me that I want to work for an excellent mid-sized firm like RPC, where I feel that I am actually welcome and part of the team, and where I feel that I can actually contribute. I want to feel like the company is investing in me as much as I am investing in the company.
I would definitely recommend this insight to a friend. The team at RPC is absolutely fantastic, they treated me as a part of their team from the first day of the insight. I was particularly surprised at how engaged and curious the different team members were to learn about each one of us, and I was positively surprised by how caring and diligent the mentorship was. I received a lot of positive and constructive feedback and learned a lot.