Staffordshire County Council and Local Government Lawyer have been shortlisted at the first ever Halsbury Legal Awards.
The local authority will be up against Eversheds and Irwin Mitchell in the Development of Talent category.
In its submission, the legal services unit at Staffordshire – which has 85 team members – said success in the current challengiing environment for local government required a programme of talent management: "harnessing new recruits from a wide range of sources; nurturing individuals by providing inspiration through leadership; and creating the golden thread of progression to continually improve and develop".
It pointed to a number of key elements in its talent management programme. These included:
- A robust training plan for each year incorporating a programme of development reviews, bespoke and team training delivery;
- A progressive work experience programme;
- 'Open Door' placements;
- Partnership working with Staffordshire University, engaging with students in a variety of media to find the best trainees and ad hoc project assistance; and
- An interesting and diverse trainee solicitor scheme.
The unit also aims to ensure that where locums are used, they become part of the team in terms of training and development opportunities.
Staffordshire said it was proud to be a Lexcel-accredited legal practice. New recruits receive a comprehensive induction, including training on case management, data protection and freedom of information, the corporate environment and customer service.
The submission also highlighted investment in support staff, including through the encouragement of apprenticeships.
Michelle Sacks, Deputy Head of Law at the local authority, said: “We are really pleased that the way in which we manage our talent at Staffordshire County Council has been recognised by the prestigious Halsbury’s Awards.
“When we say our staff are our most important asset, we mean it. The ways in which we seek to identify, develop and manage talent pays dividends for the whole of the team and ultimately, our clients."
Local Government Lawyer has meanwhile been shortlisted for the Legal Journalism Award.
The other nominees in this category are: Daniel Barnett; Neil Rose/Legal Futures; the Justice Gap; and the UK Human Rights Blog.
The legal services team at the University of Exeter is one of four candidates for the In-House Team of the Year. The others are Hitachi Data Systems, Northern Trust and Roche Products.
This is the first year that the Halsbury Legal Awards have been run. The full shortlist can be found here. The awards night takes place in London on 8 May.