The Legal Cheek View
RPC is in a good place right now, with revenue up at record levels after another decent year. Morale is high, with the firm one of the most consistently strong performers in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey.
The approachability of RPC’s partners is a particular strength. No doubt some of this is to do with the rising profits of recent years, but the open plan office set up must also get some credit. Reports one insider: “The open plan office and mixed pods means you sit with anyone from paralegals to partners (including the managing partner) and questions are positively encouraged.”
There is a nice vibe among RPC’s trainees too, who are so nice that they are said to proof read each other’s NQ applications. An uncensored trainee Twitter account – @LifeInALawFirm – which all of RPC’s rookies are encouraged to tweet from gives an admirably honest account of life at the firm.
As followers of @LifeInALawFirm will know, there are some late nights and occasional weekends, but the work-life balance is on balance pretty reasonable. One of the reasons RPC’s young lawyers generally get away earlier than their City peers is that they tend to arrive a little earlier, with the firm’s now phased-out free breakfast before 8:30am partly accounting for the early starts. Could the new food subsidy regime -- which by popular is now going towards other more general savings in the cafe -- bring about a change of culture? We'll get back to you in 2017-18 about that.
RPC also comes recommended for social life. Apparently you could “do something every night if you wanted to”, with firm-organised activities including football, darts, a book club, a talent show and quiz nights.
RPC’s weak point is its fairly low international secondment opportunities, with only a limited number of placements available in the firm’s Hong Kong office. Trainee trips to RPC’s other international outpost, in Singapore, are rare, but there are sometimes business trips to locations such as Russia and offshore jurisdictions for trainees in a litigation seat. Meanwhile, lawyers often get the opportunity to travel closer to home, with lots of traffic between the firm’s City of London headquarters and other UK base in Bristol.