The scheme took place in person at RPC’s Tower Bridge offices over two weeks. My first week was spent in the Cyber & Tech team. I worked on live matters, conducting legal research on an abuse of process point for a solicitor in the Bristol office; reviewing evidence and drafting a coverage letter; and working with the team to respond to a ReSecure matter – RPC’s innovative client solution for data breaches – reviewing contracts for notifications clauses. I sat in the IP & Tech team during my second week, undertaking legal research on exclusions clauses; reviewing papers for an international arbitration run by RPC’s Singapore office; and drafting a research note and client advice email on the validity of a parking violation (it doesn’t sound the most glamorous, but getting my work sent to a client was so rewarding!).
What stuck out was how friendly and approachable everyone was, how much collaboration there was across teams, and how interesting the subject matters were.
Although there was a lot of emphasis on departmental work, the Early Talent team ran loads of workshops throughout the scheme, including insights sessions, a group project, departmental ‘speed networking’, and a Partner panel where we got to ask the Partners questions. This gave us the opportunity to meet people from across the firm and really get a sense of everything RPC has to offer.
We also spent an afternoon volunteering with UOcean, cleaning up the banks of the Thames. It was great to act as an ambassador for RPC and see the firm’s commitment to its charity partners in action.
Last but not least, we also attended three socials across the fortnight where we really got to unwind and get to know one another, including a particularly competitive round of crazy golf at Puttshack.
For more information on vacation schemes, check out TLP’s law vacation scheme guide.
All of the workshops and events meant that I gained a deeper understanding of RPC’s culture and the key values that drive the firm to excellence. To this end, I’d highly recommend taking every opportunity that comes your way, whether it’s an invite to coffee or a D&I seminar. In addition, I also got a real sense of the kinds of tasks trainees do and the standard expected. The feedback from my supervisors was invaluable and allowed me to elevate my work to a higher level – something I’ll definitely take forward into life as a trainee.
All of these things allowed me to make an informed decision about whether RPC was the right firm for me at the end of the two weeks. It can be really hard to know whether you’ll like a firm until you actually spend time working within it, but luckily my enthusiasm for RPC only increased across the two weeks.
One of the most challenging but enjoyable aspects of the scheme was the group project. We were tasked with presenting on one of RPC’s D&I networks. I really enjoyed getting to know my teammates better; not only was it interesting to learn more about the networks, but we each contributed something different to the task and I found working together in this way to produce something we were all proud of to be really rewarding.
Despite this, I’m not a natural public speaker so although the task wasn’t formally assessed, I was nervous about presenting to the rest of the cohort and the Early Talent team. However my teammates were incredibly supportive, as were the rest of the cohort, so I ended up really enjoying my part of the presentation and was so proud to have overcome a fear!
We had an interview with a Partner and a member of the People team on the final day of the placement. We received loads of support in the run up to the training contract interview, including Personal Brand and Coaching sessions. This definitely made me feel more prepared and like everyone at RPC was rooting for us!
Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others?
One of the most important things I learnt from the scheme is how important it is to throw yourself into absolutely every opportunity you can. This makes it more enjoyable, means you learn more, and really demonstrates your willingness to be a part of RPC. Balancing competing priorities is also a key part of life as a trainee so it’s good to get the experience now.
Managing your time across supervised departmental work, informal coffee chats, interview prep, attendance at workshops, and the social side of things is really challenging. My advice would be to go into the scheme with clear objectives about what you want to get out of it, be really organised about how you want to achieve those things, and then throw yourself in with a positive attitude. Also, don’t forget to enjoy it!
Find out more about RPC’s summer schemes and how to apply.
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