Legal Assistant

United Nations


The position is based in the Conduct and Discipline Service in the Administrative Law Division in the Office of Human Resources in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, New York. The Legal Assistant reports to the Programme Manager Officer.

The Division is in charge of the implementation of the United Nations (UN) standards of conduct for all categories of personnel across the UN Secretariat. ALD provides strategic and legal advice on internal justice matters and represent the Secretary-General before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. ALD handles disciplinary matters relating to Secretariat staff members, oversees and coordinates efforts and actions to prevent and respond to unsatisfactory conduct, and works to empower and support UN Secretariat managers in the exercise of their responsibilities to address conduct and discipline matters.

Responsibilities

Within limits of delegated authority the Legal Assistant may be responsible for the following duties:

  • Researches and compiles case-related materials for use in the preparation of legal opinions, for use in the preparation of legal recommendations by Disciplinary Officers.
  • Handles, or refers to the appropriate officer as appropriate, a variety of verbal and written inquiries from internal and external parties, including providing information on processes and procedures related to specific legal activities, instruments, etc.
  • Handles a variety of highly confidential materials on a daily basis.
  • Keeps track of received data and source documents, and identifies and interprets data to be entered in the Misconduct Tracking System.
  • Under supervision, may review, summarize and index significant rulings, legal opinions, recommendations, etc.
  • Under supervision, may review, verify and process legal instruments ensuring conformity to relevant guidelines and requirements, extract key data and update database, monitor requisite follow-up actions, approvals, etc.
  • Under supervision, may edit and conduct final check for accuracy of a variety of specialized legal documentation, instruments, publications and related correspondence.
  • Services various committees and other meetings; selects and compiles relevant background materials; assists in the preparation of relevant documents; attends meetings and drafts minutes/notes; monitors follow-up actions, etc.
  • Assists in the preparation of legal documents for case related communication for Disciplinary Officers for submission to management and Conduct and Discipline Teams, electronic storage, access and circulation/publication, including document scanning and conversion, review of content and extraction of key data and text excerpts for categorization and indexing purposes, etc.
  • Creates, as necessary, maintains and updates internal databases, dashboards in Power BI to support case management and conducts research and data analysis for reporting; generates a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases.
  • Provides initial technical support to users to resolve hardware/software problems and provides a link with the ITSD Support Help Desk; assists in forecasting budget for information technology requirements; maintains an inventory of existing computer equipment.
  • Provides general office support services; drafts, edits, proofreads and finalizes for signature and/or process a variety of correspondence and other communications.
  • Sets up and maintains reference files/records (electronic and paper).
  • Schedules appointments/meetings, monitors deadlines, etc.
  • Coordinates administrative services (e.g. translation of legal publications,) to include preparing and monitoring requests, liaising with relevant units, and maintaining related statistics for reporting purposes as required.
  • Performs a variety of administrative duties (e.g. human resources, recruitment etc..).
  • May provide guidance/training to less experienced staff.
  • Performs other ad hoc duties as assigned.

Competencies

PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of organizational legal protocols and activities. Ability to conduct research from standard research sources, analyze information and compile relevant legal materials/information. Ability to show tact and discretion in dealing with confidential matters and materials. Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.

Education

High school diploma or equivalent is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of experience in paralegal work, legal affairs, general office support or related area is required.

Experience with conduct and discipline or legal matters in the United Nations or other international organization is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment.

Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Applicants who have not passed the GGST at the time of application may be invited for the test after submitting an application. Staff members who were granted a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment as a result of having passed a predecessor test recognized by the Office of Human Resources, and who have continuously held such appointments, are not required to take the new test.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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