November 1, 2023
Embarking on a legal career is an exciting journey, and one of the most critical steps is selecting the right training contract- a crucial period of practical training that is required to qualify as a solicitor. In this article, Emily, a first-year trainee at RPC, shares some of her insights into RPC’s training programme and the highlights of living and working in Bristol.

An Interesting Variety Of Work

The Bristol office offers an interesting variety of insurance-focused work for trainees. Work in the Bristol teams cover a range of areas: professional negligence, personal injury, medical malpractice, property, construction, and financial. Within these areas, RPC’S Bristol-based lawyers provide advice on coverage and represent insured businesses in claims (including claimant work and defence). This exposes trainees to a wide variety of matters and hands-on experience, including attendance at hearings, counsel conferences, inquests, mediations, and trials. Trainees are encouraged to show a positive attitude and to get involved with all they can. Each six-month seat rotation goes quickly, so it’s best to say yes to all opportunities. 

The seats are primarily contentious – meaning you can work on claims from first instruction through to settlement or trial. This gives trainees a serious insight into court proceedings and provides great experience for a career in litigation. 

Working in the insurance sector means you’re working with a range of commercial parties and clients, as well as reporting to both insurers and the insured. This helps trainees to develop skills in problem-solving, reporting, and managing the expectations of different parties. 


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Friendly Office Environment

Bristol is known for being a friendly city, and RPC’s Bristol office reflects that. There are countless ways to get involved in clubs and activities – from Legally Sound (our office choir) to tag rugby, netball and cricket. Joining in the office-wide initiatives is a great way to meet people from other departments, and it’s a good opportunity for trainees to get their names known. 

The Bristol office has a monthly drinks evening – another fun way to mingle and catch up with colleagues.  If games are more your thing, there are also the Summer and Christmas Fun Days: whereby trainees design and host games for the office to enjoy, with proceeds going to charity. 

Charity and volunteering are a key focus in the office. Every two years a new charity is selected to support, with money raised through a variety of means, including: World Cup/Eurovision sweepstakes, quizzes, raffles, and participation in the Bristol 10k. We also support a local school and hold volunteering days for RPC employees to introduce students to the world of law. 

Bristol’s office culture makes it easy to make friends at work – whether they are fellow trainees, members of your team, people who are in the same clubs and activities, someone you bump into in the kitchen, or a colleague you’ve met at a social event.  Working in law can be challenging, so it’s important to have a strong network around you. 

Being In Bristol

A key benefit of RPC’s Bristol training contract is being based in Bristol.  It’s a fun, historic, diverse, green, welcoming city, which also happens to be one of the UK’s leading legal markets. Like many, I fell in love with the city after coming here for university – and I haven’t looked back. 

In Bristol there’s always something to do, whether you’re into music, comedy, nights out, street art, brunching, running, cycling, hot air balloons, or even kayaking along the river. The city is home to over 51 law firms and lots of lawyers – many of whom you’ll see along King Street and the Harbourside after a hard day’s work.  It’s the ideal place for anyone with high legal ambitions, looking for top-quality work and a work/life balance.


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