We caught up with Jessica to hear what she had to say about securing a training contract at the prestigious law firm, RPC.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I graduated from Exeter University in 2016, having studied English Literature. Before entering the world of full-time work, I decided to spend five months travelling five different countries: Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji and Vietnam. Having loved my time in Australia, I made the move to Sydney for a year and it was during this time that I worked for a large fiduciary company in their estates and trusts team. Working alongside other lawyers inspired me to apply for the GDL on my return to the UK. I am now currently studying the LPC and will be starting my training contract at RPC in September 2020.
What inspired you to apply to RPC?
I was inspired to apply for RPC after attending the firm’s Insight Day. I was able to learn about the firm’s unique and inclusive culture through not only the talks that were given but also the opportunity to meet with members of the firm, from trainees to associates and partners. RPC’s wide range of practice areas also appealed to me, as well as its exciting litigation practice. RPC’s relatively small intake of trainees also allows greater responsibility for trainees and a chance to get involved in higher level work. Finally, the opportunities that RPC offers to go on client and overseas secondments were also factors that influenced my decision to apply.
What was a ‘normal’ day like on the scheme?
A normal day on the scheme would start with working on the floors within our allocated seats for that week. This included sitting in on calls with a client or witness, carrying out various research tasks, and even attending hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice. Lunchtime was spent in the RPC canteen, where those on the vacation scheme got to know each other and the current trainees. Most afternoons involved some form of activity, talk or networking event to attend, which gave us an excellent opportunity to learn more about the firm and meet a variety of different people. The end of the day would finish with a social organised for us and the current trainees.
What was the application process like? What was the hardest part? What did you enjoy the most?
The application process involved a written application, an online verbal reasoning test and an assessment centre, in which we were required to undertake a written assessment and an interview. I found that the most difficult part was trying to control my nerves on the assessment day. However, the People & Learning team at RPC made us feel very welcome and at ease from the outset. Undertaking the RPC vacation scheme is what I enjoyed most about the entire process.
What is the company culture like at RPC?
The company culture at RPC is what stood out to me most about the firm. The open plan style of the office means that trainees sit alongside partners and associates alike, which removes the hierarchical feel that can be found at other firms. There are also a number of activities to get involved in outside of work, from playing in a sports team to getting involved in fundraising events.
Has Bright Network helped you on your career journey? If so, how?
Bright Network has helped me on my career journey by giving me access to networking events which enabled me to develop my networking skills and ability to interact with potential future employers. This ultimately increased my confidence and enhanced my ability to perform well on various assessment centres. Having a Bright Network membership also gave me access to application tips and advice from recent graduates which helped me in preparing my own applications.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at RPC?
My tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at RPC would be to research the firm thoroughly. It is really important to find a firm that is right for you. Also, do not be afraid to show your personality through your application and when on the assessment day!