Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Serves as a lead officer in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handles a wide range of multi-discipline and complex legal matters involving issues of international commercial law, international public, private and administrative law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration.
- Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to administration and management, institutions support, procurement and contracts, peacekeeping and other operational matters, separately administered programmes and funds, criminal investigations and prosecutions, etc.
- Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports and correspondence; provides legal advice to the unit/division.
- Prepares, or provides substantive input in, submissions/motions as necessary in the course of arbitral proceedings.
- Services committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.
- Reviews, advises on, drafts and negotiates complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
- In particular, provides advice and support in resolving disputes arising out of contracts with commercial vendors, consultants, other personnel, and third-party claims of a private law character involving the operations and activities of the Organizations, its organs or its separately administered funds and programmes.
- Advises on and participates in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes, to include establishing strategy and approach, deciding on the legal text for terms and conditions of contracts, on the recommendations on the merit of claims and the Organization’s risk exposure in arbitration, etc.
- Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of financial and staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions and the drafting of administrative issuances; prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources and other administrative policies and practices.
- Represents the organization on more complex cases before arbitral and other tribunal or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals. Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of the United Nations and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
- Coordinates and direct teams of other legal officers dealing with significant problems as required, and/or mentors and supervises the work of junior officers on specific projects.
- Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, etc.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
Professionalism: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Ability to conduct legal research and analyze information from various resources on a wide range of legal issues. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply legal judgment in the context of assignments given. Ability to negotiate and influence others to reach agreements. Ability to work and meet tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/case. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first level university degree in law in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Admission to the practice of law in the Member State of the candidate’s nationality or in another Member State of the United Nations is required.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in law, including international commercial law, legal analysis, research and drafting, to be obtained either in a law firm or in a legal office of an international intergovernmental organization or in a legal office of a Government is required.
Experience in claims analysis and in international commercial arbitration is required.
Experience in advising on the status and the privileges and immunities of international organizations is desirable.
Qualifying years of work experience are calculated following the receipt of the university degree in law recognized by the United Nations.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is desirable. Fluency in Spanish is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
- This position is temporarily available until 30 April 2022. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
- While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
- Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
- This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
- Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
- Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
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.
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.
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where (unjobvacancies.com) you saw this job posting.