Here are the answers to some of the questions that many people ask us when applying for a training place with us. We hope that you find them useful and that they help you to make a decision.
"When should I apply?"
Our training contracts start in September each year. If you like the look of our Manifesto and fancy joining us then you will need to be ready to start in the September of the year you're applying for. For most of our training contract opportunities, this means you need to apply online, two years before your anticipated start date. So, for our 2020 London training contract, the deadline for applications is 13 July 2018, however we encourage early applications.
Candidates interested in our 2018 Bristol training contract should apply by 3 April 2018.
Law students should apply in their penultimate year. Non-law students should apply in their final year. Graduates can apply at any time.
"How important is your Application Form?"
It’s very important indeed. We select the candidates for our assessment days solely on the basis of their completed application form. It gives us an all-important insight into your personal qualities, and how you might fit in.
"So… what are you looking for?"
Well, good academic achievements are essential but there’s far more to it than an impressive list of qualifications. If you're applying for a training contract in the UK, you’ll need eight high grade GCSEs, three high grade A-levels and a 2:1 degree awarded or predicted, or the equivalent qualifications. In Hong Kong, we look for consistently strong academic results throughout your study and we accept at least a 2.1 degree or equivalent. You'll need to detail your academic achievements on the application form in order to apply for a training contract.
We’re also looking for some very special qualities. You’ll need courage as well as intelligence (take a look at our Manifesto again.) You’ll need to be confident, ambitious and dynamic. And we’ll expect you to be a natural communicator and to demonstrate total commitment, natural leadership skills and an inherent awareness of the commercial world.
"Can I take a gap year before joining you?"
Certainly. Candidates can discuss any plans they may be considering at their assessment day. Each case will be considered on an individual basis and it’s worth contacting the recruitment team to discuss your ideas.
"What if I need a work permit?"
No problem. Obviously, we’re unable to help with your application so you’ll need to have secured a valid permit before we can offer you a position.
"What happens on your assessment days?"
In the UK, our assessment days are usually held in January, February and August. The days are a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your strengths and they help us to make an objective selection based on a consistent set of criteria. There are a variety of exercises designed to help us choose the best candidates and, while they might be hard work, they’re also a lot of fun. You can also meet some of our partners, lawyers and trainees and get a real feel for what training with us would be like.
In Hong Kong, our assessment days are usually held as part of the summer programme. The exercises and assessments designed for the candidates are consistent with the UK and help us identify our best future trainees. Apart from the exercises and assessments, the students who join our summer programme will also get the chance to meet our partners and lawyers during the week in our office, and at some social occasions.
"Do I have to be a law graduate?"
Not necessarily. Some of our best, and most successful, trainees have graduated in other subjects.
"Do you advise where to study the LPC in the UK if you are applying for a UK training contract?"
Yes. We ask all of our trainees to study at The University of Law.
"Do you have any preference on which university to qualify for PCLL if you are applying for a Hong Kong training contract?
No, we don't. We recognise all the PCLL qualification granted by any of the three law schools in Hong Kong, namely The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The City University of Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong. Candidates have to pass their PCLL at the first attempt of all examinations.
"Do you specify which electives should be studied on the LPC for UK trainees and on the PCLL for Hong Kong trainees?"
For our future UK trainees, we require our future trainees to study at least one commercial litigation-focused elective and one private acquisition elective. Everyone also completes a business module, to encourage them to start thinking about the law firm as a business. The remaining electives should be made up of commercial-focused electives that complement our core practice areas.
For our future Hong Kong trainees, we do not have any preference on what electives they need to take as the core subjects have already covered essential elements of our practices.
"What will happen when I arrive?"
The first few weeks will be taken up with our Trainee New Starter Programme which has been designed to introduce you to RPC. You’ll meet the Partners, the current Trainees and our trainee development team. In the UK you'll also complete the core modules of the Professional Skills Course.
"How much responsibility will I have?"
Lots… but it would obviously depend on your confidence levels – and your ability. Your supervising partner will decide exactly how much you should take on at each stage of your training.
"How will I know how I’m progressing?"
Your supervising partner will give you regular, informal feedback. We'll also give you formal reviews every six months which will provide you, and us, with an opportunity to assess how you’re getting on. These reviews also help to identify any areas where further attention or experience may be required.
"Will I have to work long hours?"
We don’t expect anyone to work long hours for the sake of it. But, when there’s a lot of work to be done and deadlines are looming, we’ll naturally want everybody to put in the hours and pull together.
"Do you do any international work?"
Yes, 30 per cent of our work is international in nature. We have offices in London, Bristol, Hong Kong and Singapore and are founding members of the TerraLex network of law firms which gives us ready access to lawyers in over 100 jurisdictions. We also have international secondment opportunities to London, Hong Kong and Singapore.
"What is the firm’s dress code?"
Professional business attire.
"So… where’s the Application Form?"
You can apply online by clicking here. If you experience any problems please contact our recruitment team in the UK on 020 3060 6000 or by email at email@example.com, and in Hong Kong email at firstname.lastname@example.org.