The recruitment and retention of senior legal officers in district councils in England and Wales.

LOWE, Martyn. (1996). The recruitment and retention of senior legal officers in district councils in England and Wales. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

At the end of the 1980s the British economy was in a period of expansion which resulted in many district councils facing difficulties in recruiting certain categories of professional staff or retaining those they already employed. Recruiting and retaining senior legal officers was particularly difficult.The reasons for this inability to recruit and retain lawyers was thought to reside in the greater attraction of the rewards offered by the private sector combined with the changing work environment of district councils. The internal changes in staffing, structure and ethos of districts caused by internal factors, external legislation and labour market pressures have contributed to the lawyer's career in district councils becoming less attractive to prospective candidates and existing staff compared with the rewards to be found in the private sector.With the advent of the early 1990s recession this skills shortage ended due to an influx of legal professionals from the depressed private sector. With the return of economic growth the legal services labour market may well repeat the experience of the 1980s and local authorities find themselves once more facing a shortage of legal professionals. The results of this study indicate that as a consequence of the changes facing district council's those work factors favoured by the local government lawyer are disappearing. Mechanisms such as commitment to the public service, job security, job content, status and recognition and the managerial-professional career-path which attracted lawyers to local government have ended. These factors also compensated the local government lawyer for not receiving the pay and benefits available in the private sector. These factors also mitigated the potential for conflict between the professional and his or her employing bureaucratic organisation.As a consequence, to many lawyers in local government employment there now seems little difference between private and public sector law as a career. The perception of many local authority lawyers is that there is no longer a commitment to public service in local government, but a commitment to commercialisation. This change reflects the demise of the consensus between the public sector professions and the state and the loss of the community leadership role of local authorities to the centralising process of successive Conservative Governments.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1996.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 12:11
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20606

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