Case study

Tom James — Trainee Solicitor


Tom studied history at the University of Kent and then completed the GDL and LPC at the University of Law in London. He’s now a second seat trainee at RPC

Why choose a career in law?

A career in law means you will get to work on a variety of issues with a diverse range of people in order to solve problems and reach desired outcomes. You will be given the opportunity to use a variety of skills and teamwork to overcome challenges.

What attracted you to RPC?

RPC has a reputation for being forward thinking and innovative and this was initially what drew me to the firm. My experience with the firm was extremely positive and it was clear that this was a place that puts a premium on people. The open plan office mixes partners and senior associates with trainees and other juniors, which helps to cultivate a more relaxed atmosphere that encourages learning and development.

This non-hierarchical set up really enhances the learning environment and means that juniors get more exposure to different matters across the team, as well as being able to learn from a more diverse group rather than just your direct supervisor.

Also the smaller trainee intake (around 13) means that trainees are given more responsibility early on and are able to immerse themselves in matters they are working on, which helps with development.

Tell us what your training contract involves…

Four seats across four different teams split across the insurance side and the commercial side of the practice.

In each seat I have completed I have worked across a variety of matters ranging from the relatively typical to the very complex. My first two seats have been contentious seats and so I have been working a lot on different disputes and assisting the team and the client with litigation.

General tasks include drafting a variety of documents (including pleadings, witness statements etc), disclosure exercises, research and preparing evidence. It's also quite typical for a trainee to attend trials and hearings. There are also business development tasks that we work on, such as drafting monthly updates or blog posts on recent developments.

There are lot of stereotypes about working in law, what's the reality?

One of the big stereotypes is that the law is quite old school and very set in its ways. The reality is that it is a dynamic, exciting and innovative area to work in. There is a lot of scope for creativity, which I think is something that is overlooked as law can stereotypically be viewed as quite rigid.

There can be long hours and some less exciting tasks (bundling springs to mind) but everything you work on has significance and ultimately you are rewarded with great experiences working with great people to overcome the challenges set before you.

Why should future trainees consider RPC?

The people. Everyone across the firm is approachable, friendly and invested in your development. The exposure and responsibility you are given early on is great and the variety of seat options means you are able to get experience in four very different areas, as well as the possibility of going on various client secondments.

Find out more

  • Learn more about RPC.
  • Discover what the law sector has to offer.