We spoke to a trainee at RPC law firm about her experiences at the firm. Elizabeth Zang studied law at the University of Oxford. She is currently a third seat trainee.
A career in law is extremely varied. Firstly, law permeates through every profession, so no matter what you’re interested in, you can find a firm that works in your field of choice. Second, within your chosen field, the law and your client’s business and the industry in which they operate change constantly, so you’re always learning. Finally, in servicing your client, you could be working on any number of things. Some days, you’re pouring over textbooks and analysing case law. Other days, you’re catching up on the latest celebrity gossip, and that’s a legitimate part of your litigation strategy. Occasionally, you’re not in the office at all, because you’re meeting a client on site, or overseas. For me, this keeps things interesting and makes the legal sector an exciting place to work.
Initially, when carrying out research on firms, I was attracted to the young and fresh vibes that I got from RPC’s trainee recruitment campaign. Once I got onto the vacation scheme, I was also attracted to the great culture and people as well as its genuine commitment to client service excellence. There was an openness that I didn’t feel at other firms – which I think came from the open plan office and the fact that everyone was so friendly and collaborative – and, even as a vac schemer, I was made to feel part of the team.
Find out more about RPC on their law firm profile.
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A training contract at RPC provides the opportunity for rapid professional and personal growth. We work for some major clients and are involved in some of the biggest litigation and deals. Within this context, you’re given great work and lots of responsibility. Being a trainee, you’ll inevitably carry out some less interesting tasks, but you’ll also get challenging pieces of work, often involving substantive drafting, often client-facing.
My first few days were spent receiving internal training with the rest of my intake. We had talks from almost every department at RPC. This includes all the different practice areas, but also covers non-legal teams such as IT, finance, the library, document production, and brand and marketing, so by the time we were sent up to floors we had a good idea of what non-legal offerings were available and who to contact if we wanted to utilise the same.
My first seat was in Commercial Disputes, my second seat was in Intellectual Property and Technology, and I am currently in my third seat on a client secondment. I’ve enjoyed all my seats so far and have been given some really good work – I’ve sat in on client meetings, attended court to assist with a trial, and even appeared before a master, on my own, to put forward an application. Trainees also assist with business development work, and there are lots of societies to get involved in as well.
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