The virtual experience was extremely enjoyable and well thought through. The week consisted of a combination of written tasks, insight sessions into different areas of the firm and social & networking activities. The tasks were interesting as they involved a variety of different stakeholders and there was a combination of contentious and non-contentious work. They also gave me great insight into the type of work undertaken by trainees at the firm. I really enjoyed the quiz the trainees hosted - gave us a real insight into the culture at the firm at a time when we were unable to be at the office.
I felt extremely valued during my time at RPC. My supervisor was keen to know what I wanted to get out of the scheme and went out of her way to organise meetings with people across the firm to enable me to learn more about my areas of interest. For every task, I received detailed point by point feedback from different associates so that I could identify my development areas were and where I could improve. The fact that five or so partners came to watch my presentation and engaged with the interactive parts of my presentation, in addition to giving me constructive feedback at the end, made me feel extremely valued.
Before even attending the vacation scheme, the HR team put us in touch with a trainee to answer any questions we may have. We were each provided with a supervisor and trainee buddy both of whom provided support and guidance throughout the week which was invaluable since it was a virtual scheme. I had a catch-up meeting with my supervisor every morning to discuss any areas of issue in the tasks that day and any questions I had. I could not fault RPC for the guidance and support they provided from the insight day to the pre-vac scheme prep, to the vac scheme itself.
I received point by point feedback on each of my tasks and have since been able to put into practice the advice I was given. The level of detail that each supervisor went into in terms of their feedback was excellent and it was clear that the associates had made a real effort to engage with our work in and around their own busy schedules. In particular, the feedback I received helped me to identify some of the wider commercial issues affecting the client and understand how commercial considerations may impact the decision regarding which legal route you may advise a client to take.
The virtual experience was well-structured. We had a clear timetable going into the vac scheme so we knew what we were doing and when. All of the Zoom details were ready and waiting so there were no delays in terms of technical issues. There were a lot of tasks to fit into the available time, however, I think this was part of the challenge. The pre-joining workshop was an excellent idea as it gave us a chance to get used to using the technology before starting the scheme.
From partners to trainees, everyone went out of their way to get to know us, to learn about our interests and were genuinely interested in what we had to say. The fact that my supervisor invited associates to my presentation who were experts in the particular area that I had chosen to present on was exciting as I received feedback from leaders in the field. Having attended the RPC insight day, assessment day and the vacation scheme, RPC is full of welcoming, supportive and engaging people who will go above and beyond to enable you to excel in your chosen field.
They provided a pre-joining workshop which was great at enabling us to get used to the virtual platform. The pre-joining workshop also involved an insight session on how to present yourself effectively on a virtual platform which was very useful throughout the week during meetings and for the interview. For me the detailed feedback I received from every task which included what I did well and how I could improve was invaluable and demonstrated the time and effort that would be invested in trainees that would join RPC.
The tasks provided hands on experience tackling the types of tasks that trainees would undertake at the firm. Examples of the tasks included writing a contentious letter, reviewing and amending the terms of a licensing agreement and delivering a presentation. The tasks also demonstrated the types of clients that the firm works for. Whilst the number of tasks which we were provided with and the time we were given to complete them highlighted that working at the firm would be fast paced, the daily catch up I had with my supervisor showcased that we would always be supported.
The networking event and quiz with the trainees demonstrated that everyone at the firm really enjoyed working at RPC and discussing the type of work that they do. It also showcased the effort the firm went to during Covid-19 to support its people by providing its staff with grants to buy IT equipment. The fact that partners took the time to greet us at the start of the scheme and say goodbye at the end was consistent with the down to earth, hard working and approachable nature of those that work at RPC. The personal development/ general career advice that was provided at the end of the week by two partners showcased RPC's ambition and willingness to support its people in whatever way it can to help them excel.
Extremely valuable. I was fortunate to be offered two TC offers, one of which was from RPC, following two different vacation schemes. The detailed feedback that I received throughout the RPC scheme from different supervisors and the opportunity I was given to present to multiple partners showed me that I would be given real responsibility at RPC and constructive feedback to enable me to develop. This, coupled with the excellent support and guidance I was provided with by my supervisor, was a key reason for why I chose to accept the offer from RPC.
The firm paid us £400 for the 4 day placement. We were given an additional £30 to order food for the quiz night. Prior to this we were sent out a 'care package' for us to have for our vacation scheme which included e.g. snacks, a coffee mug , a notebook and pen. Since it was virtual I did not have to travel anywhere so there was no need for expenses. I appreciate the fact that the firm did not reduce the payment we were to receive to reflect the fact that we were not going to incur travel expenses.
RPC organised a networking session on one of the evenings. A mixture of trainees, partners and associates across multiple departments were involved which gave us a broad overview of the types of areas the firm worked within and insight into areas outside of the department we were sitting in. The fact it was virtual was almost better as we got to chat to people across multiple offices and it was a bit more structured as fee-earners were paired up either by department or in relation to the fact that they had done client/international secondments. Outside of this, we were really encouraged to set up meetings with anyone we wished to speak to. In terms of improvement, I think if the week had been 5 days long instead of 4 this would have been better as it would have given us more time in and around the assessed tasks to meet people outside of the networking.
As noted above, bar some technical issues the networking sessions were well-organised. I gained a broad overview of the different departments and had the opportunity to learn more about the insurance side of the firm which was useful as I had been sitting in IP & Technology. The social event was a virtual quiz hosted by the trainees at the firm - we were put into small teams, which consisted of a mix of trainees and vac schemers. This was great as it gave us time to get to know our fellow vac schemers (which was quite hard to do virtually) and also the other trainees and chat more informally about what trainee life was like. The fact that RPC provided us with an extra £30 to order some food to enjoy during the quiz is just another example of the way the firm went out of their way to make sure that we were enjoying the scheme.
We had an insight session which outlined the various CSR schemes and social activities to get involved with. The non-assessed group task required us to chat to various people around the firm about RPC's culture and this also gave us further insight into the types of activities/events the firm hosted outside of work e.g. summer and Christmas parties, tennis tournaments. The trainee instagram page also provided a nice insight into the types of activities the firm is involved with.
100%. The early talent team at RPC did an absolutely fantastic job at organising this vacation scheme - I was really impressed and it was the best virtual vacation scheme out of the two I completed. Despite it being virtual, the scheme gave me a real insight into life at the firm through the tasks and through working with my supervisor. The social/networking activities gave me the opportunity to meet more people and learn about a wider range of areas than I think you would get on a 'normal' scheme at the office.
Commercial Law, Corporate Law
22nd July 2020