I chose to study Politics and International Relations at Birmingham University because I was hell bent on being a diplomat and putting the world to rights. Many of my friends at university, however, were convinced that I had the makings of a lawyer and so I began to research law as a career and decided to study the two year MA Law at Sheffield University.
During this time I attended a number of Open Days at law firms, and gained work experience with a high street firm, the in-house legal department of what was then the Commission for Racial Equality and on a vacation scheme with a large City firm. I then took part in a summer vacation scheme at RPC and, after two weeks here, I knew that this was where I wanted to be. The people I met were incredibly friendly, the practice areas were varied and I was given real responsibility even as a summer student. I felt that RPC asked the right questions of me on my assessment day and was delighted when I got a training contract offer.
I then spent a year in New York before my LPC as an intern with a major global bank and witnessed first hand the difficult decisions that a number of firms had to make in the wake of the financial crisis.
The training contract is a steep learning curve and I have been struck at the amount of client exposure and the quality of training I have received to date. I spent my first year in the Insurance Group, first in Professional Risks and then in the General Liability & Medical Group. In my first seat I attended mediation, worked on a trial defending a major law firm and worked on a discrete matter representing one of the Big Four accountancy firms. In my second seat I attended an inquest and a General Medical Council hearing and ran a number of my own smaller files. I am currently in the Employment, Pensions & Incentives department where again I have been given a great deal of responsibility, coupled with a lot of support in a growing team.
I have also had the opportunity over the last year to draft a number of articles and legal updates, most notably one on the rights of prisoners to... artificial insemination!
Trainees are the lifeblood of the firm and, as such, are involved across the board when it comes to social activities. So far, highlights have included an RPC X Factor event, the RPC Choir's Christmas Concert and, naturally, the firm Christmas party, where the trainees provide the entertainment. The nice thing about being one of an intake of 15 is that there is a collegiate atmosphere amongst trainees and you have the opportunity to really get to know one another.
As a firm, RPC is an ambitious, friendly and dynamic place to train and embark on a legal career in an ever changing climate.