By Christianah Babajide

With vacation scheme applications deadline fast approaching, on the 10th of January, Legal Cheek Careers teamed up with global law firm RPC to hold an online Q&A about how to secure a vac scheme.

King’s College London graduate Sophie Tuson and Cambridge graduate Rebecca May are both training at RPC having joined the firm in 2015.

With over 70 comments left on the thread, the RPC duo advised wannabe lawyers on how to approach vac scheme applications in the correct manner.

Here are 5 key points LCR’s Christianah fleshed out from the thread…

  1. Get Involved

The duo advised students to get involved in extracurricular activities or seek part-time employment while at the university. Rebecca May, Cambridge graduate, stated she played the cello in her first year, sat on the Boat Club Committee and held down a part-time summer job. Regional firms like RPC are interested in hobbies outside your degree subject. It doesn’t matter what these interests are as long as you can explain what you’ve learnt from these experiences and put a positive spin on things.

  1. Preparation is Key

During the thread, Rebecca highlighted the importance of being well prepared for assessment centres and interviews. She advised students to take advantage of their university’s careers service who often run mock assessment centre tasks to familiarise you with the process. In order to have a successful interview, she emphasised it was important to read over what you’ve written in your applications so that you are confident talking about all aspects of it. For those who feel anxious before interviews, she advised adopting a “power pose” on the day of the interview. Sophie advised tailoring your answers to the firm’s key practice areas and clients. For example, if you’re describing a past experience, explain what skills/knowledge you’ve developed that will benefit the firm.

  1. Gain Experience

Many, if not all, law firms will expect you to have some form of legal work experience. Sophie Tuson, who studied a History degree, recommended using your university holidays to get as much as legal experience as possible. She informed us that securing work experience whilst at university helped demonstrate her motivation for wanting to pursue a career in law. She went on to say, simply shadowing a lawyer counts as work experience and is something you can mention in your application. Use whichever experience you can to sell yourself and ensure your application is tailored to the firm you’re applying to.

  1. Commercial Awareness

Law firms operate as businesses, therefore, they look for candidates who have an interest in how businesses work and have substantial commercial awareness. Today’s lawyers have to be very business-orientated and know how to look for financially beneficial solutions for the firm’s clients. Sophie informed us that RPC is committed to providing high-quality commercial advice to their clients so, as a candidate, having commercial awareness is desired. Rebecca advised students to brush up on their commercial awareness and keep up to date with the legal press.

  1. Why RPC?Print

Sophie, who applied for the RPC Summer Scheme after attending their open day, said she was impressed with the firm’s commitment to innovation. She was particularly interested in the firm’s mix of insurance and commercial work. She added, as a trainee, she has been involved in preparing pitch documents to new clients and attending seminars, and despite only being a trainee, she’s encouraged to partake in business development. When asked to summarise her experience at RPC in three words, she used, “rewarding, challenging and fun!” Rebecca, on the other hand, stated she chose RPC for the culture and size of the firm. She added the friendly atmosphere at RPC is one of the hard-working individuals who all bring their personalities to work.

The RPC Summer Vacation Scheme are on the 19 –30th June and 3 –14th June 2017.
Find out more here.

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