I can honestly say that I enjoyed every aspect of the scheme. It was an extremely beneficial experience for me both in terms of finding out more about a career as a solicitor and about whether RPC is a firm that I would enjoy working for.
I spent the first week in the Professional Risks department and the second week in Corporate Insurance and was constantly inundated with a variety of tasks to complete. Not once did I have to go hunting for work and tasks were set by a mixture of partners, associates and trainees.
From the very first day I felt like a member of the firm. I believe this is as a result of the inclusive and united ethos of the firm. The role of each person within the firm is highly valued and the firm's recruitment policy allows only for people who are down to earth and team oriented.
Everyone was willing to explain tasks to me in great detail and trainees regularly took me aside to see how I was settling in and to give me a greater insight into their seats and their opinions on the firm. Upon completion of each task, I was thanked and kept informed of how my impact had benefitted the team.
As stated above the guidance and support provided was fantastic. On the first day we were given an introduction to the library and the IT system. For the remainder of the two weeks partners, associates and trainees were more than willing to answer questions and take time out for us, which was particularly useful during the Business Project.
I have a much greater understanding of how a law firm operates, how the different departments interrelate and the general tasks I could expect to complete as a trainee. I was undoubtedly fortunate to have been in fairly busy departments during the two weeks as some of the summer scheme students were not so inundated with tasks. I had the opportunity to complete various research tasks; attended a client meeting with a partner before writing up the meeting report; drafted an agreement; summarised various pieces of information and completed a number of file based tasks e.g. indexing, tabbing and organising.
The scheme was fantastically structured. Numerous socials were organised for us and we attended seminars with different parts of the firm to give us a greater insight into what they do. Additionally, we had a business project to complete in teams over the duration of the scheme before presenting in front of senior members of the firm.
Having the assessment day on the final day of the scheme meant that although we were much more informed about the firm than non-summer scheme attendees, we perhaps had less time to prepare for the interview than I would personally have liked. Being so busy in the departments possibly counted against me in this aspect but I value everything that I experienced and the skills that I developed in the two departments very highly.
Everyone was extremely upbeat in the two departments and the friendliness of each and every employee is notable throughout the firm - this being one of the unique qualities of RPC. The atmosphere in the Corporate Insurance department was quieter than in Professional Risks but this is undoubtedly to be expected in a Corporate department.
The business project allowed us to developed our teamwork skills further and gave us the invaluable experience of presenting in front of senior members of the firm. The responsibility given to me in the departments really helped to enhance my ability to complete tasks that a trainee would do. There was a constant emphasis placed by HR on considering what we had learned and how we could develop further throughout the two weeks.
I was treated like a trainee throughout the two weeks. I was given trainee tasks to complete and was treated like a member of the firm in the office and at social events. The scheme was fantastically run and gave us a true representation of all aspects of the firm and what life as a trainee would be like.
Great emphasis was placed on us gaining an insight into the company culture, particularly through the business project in which our tasks were primarily geared towards us learning about the company culture. The unique culture of the firm was extremely evident to us throughout the two weeks - we regularly witnessed the innovative and inclusive nature of the firm in seminars and our research for the business project.
We are to be paid £275 per week which for me more than covers my expenses since I was living outside of London for the two weeks. We were also given £50 to spend on our card in the canteen! Additionally, all the socials were paid for by RPC including the drinks to celebrate RPC's law firm of the year award, which we were kindly invited to attend.
The various socials gave us opportunities to network and socialise with trainees and being invited to the law firm of the year drinks allowed us to talk to many other members of the firm outside the office setting.
Cocktail making, a curry night with trainees and regular drinks/lunchtime buffets were on offer. These events allowed us to network and to get to know RPC's people in a more relaxed setting. Making cocktails was also really good fun!
We saw the busy social side of the firm on a regular basis throughout the two weeks and heard plenty about the firm's innovative house system. I would perhaps have liked to have heard a bit more about the sporting opportunities the firm has outside of work hours.
Each and every member of our scheme was gushing about the firm at the end of the two weeks. I would wholeheartedly recommend RPC to anyone interested in a career as a solicitor in the city. RPC has truly set a high benchmark, surpassing all other firms that I have gained an insight into. This is the law firm of the future and an extremely exciting place to be!