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Strategies for managing change and the use of paraprofessionals: a cross-sector study for the benefit of post-LETR providers of legal services. Part One: further education, the NHS and the shared management agenda.

Shephard, C and Todd, IA (2016) Strategies for managing change and the use of paraprofessionals: a cross-sector study for the benefit of post-LETR providers of legal services. Part One: further education, the NHS and the shared management agenda. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 67. ISSN 0029-3105

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Abstract

The Legal Education and Training Review Report (‘LETR Report’) contemplates the nature of legal services and seeks to establish a framework to support and facilitate provision of these services. The market is experiencing ‘a time of unprecedented change with consumer demands, technology and the regulatory system fundamentally changing the way that legal services are delivered’ . The question remains how providers of legal services will manage this change and how they can best prepare their managers for that role. This is not an issue faced only by lawyers. Other sectors have experienced an equally significant change, particularly in the public sector. This two-part paper asks whether the experience of management in the public sector can inform the current debate on management in the legal services sector (‘LSS’). This first paper proposes the authors’ theoretical model, which records their observations that change management in the public sector can be categorised into three strategies. The focus in this paper, on the Further Education (‘FE’) and National Health Service (‘NHS’) sectors, is to allow for a comparative analysis of change management in the LSS in the second paper. That paper will consider the recent history of the LSS and finds that the changes faced resonate with those experienced in the public sector. Through this cross-sector analysis, the authors reveal that there exists a shared management agenda, which may not otherwise have been readily apparent. The second paper concludes by articulating clearly this shared agenda, with the aim of engaging stakeholders within the LSS, informing their debate as to how to implement and manage change, and having impact by preventing them from reinventing the proverbial wheel.

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