We caught up with Elliott to discuss the unique insights he gained during his summer vacation scheme at RPC. Elliott shares how this experience has shaped him for his future training contract with the firm and outlines some top tips for the application process.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I completed an undergraduate degree in Geography at UCL, graduating in 2016. I finished university not knowing what I wanted to do as a career or how to get there. I have always had an interest in the legal industry, and I managed to secure a role as an administrator at a law firm upon graduation. This job was crucial in allowing me to explore the intricacies of the profession and helping me to confirm my desire to go into law. Whilst working in this role I undertook the graduate diploma in law (GDL) on a part-time basis at BPP Law School. Balancing work, study and my sporting commitments (I was also playing semi-professional rugby) challenged me greatly – but what I learnt about myself in these years has helped me to get where I have.
What stood out to you about RPC?
RPC’s inclusive and supportive culture is my main attraction to the firm. I was also struck by the calibre of work that trainees at the firm deal with. Many of RPC’s clients are formidable businesses and I am attracted to the challenge and excitement of working with the likes of Google and Facebook to name but a few. I am also attracted to RPC’s litigation focus, which is well aligned with my strengths and career ambitions.
What is the culture like at the firm?
My experience with RPC has been incredibly positive and I can only be complimentary about the firm’s culture. There is a notable collegiate and supportive culture with a clear focus on encouraging people to be themselves – whoever they may be. I came away from the very first assessment centre commenting on how much I had enjoyed meeting everyone and with a grasp that RPC does things differently. Everyone I met on the summer scheme was so down to earth and genuinely seemed interested in my development. I cannot wait to get started.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
It is no secret that law is a competitive industry and the application process reflects this. You will have heard this before, but it is critical that you do your research – gain an understanding of the firm that you are applying for and why you are well suited to them. This will make things so much easier for you in the latter stages of the application process.
On top of research, I would encourage any applicant to consider the following advice:
- Think about what makes you unique or a bit different and sell it. Top academics and good work experience will be the norm for many applicants. What have you done or experienced that will make your application stand out and demonstrate your personality?
- Have confidence in your own abilities and back yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, no one else will!
- Try and have some fun. The application process can be daunting but, in a strange way, it can be enjoyed. I tried to imagine the process as a game or contest to win the ultimate prize. If you can enjoy the challenge, it is likely that your enthusiasm for the firm and the profession will be conveyed with ease on those dreaded assessment days.
- Finally, and most importantly in my opinion – there is no rush. You may get there sooner or later than others, but you’ll get there. Learn to take rejection in your stride and keep plodding along.
What was your favourite aspect of your time on the Summer Scheme at RPC?
Even though the scheme was remote I came away from it feeling that I had gained a true understanding of the culture of the firm and life as a trainee. The access I had to RPC employees throughout the scheme was tremendous and I was able to delve into any questions I had about any aspect of the firm. The scheme was undoubtedly hard work. The tasks that we were given were challenging but reflective of the type of work trainees complete. I enjoyed the time-pressure and contentious aspects of many of the tasks. I was delighted that the scheme confirmed my desire to work on contentious legal matters in the future.
What are you most looking forward to about joining the RPC Training Contract in September 2022?
I am most looking forward to meeting new people, emerging myself in the team and getting stuck in. I am someone who enjoys a challenge, so I am excited to get involved in complex matters from the outset. I am eager to support my colleagues where possible and learn from their experience and expertise.