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Legal Record & Information Specialists

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-31

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device


FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization


Organizational Setting

The FAO Legal Office ensures that FAO’s activities are carried out in accordance with its Constitution and the other Basic Texts of the Organization, in a manner consistent with its status as an inter-governmental organization of the United Nations system, and that its relationships with governments, organizations and individuals are on a sound legal basis.

The Development Law Service of the Legal Office (LEGN) provides legal advisory services to governments on food and agriculture and natural resources (including land, water, fisheries and aquaculture, plants, animals, food, forestry, wildlife, environment, climate change and biodiversity), as well as general agricultural issues (institutions, trade, economic reform).

In addition to providing technical assistance, LEGN is active in expanding upon FAO’s mandate to collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food and agriculture. LEGN periodically publishes its series of Legal Studies, Legal Guides and Legal Papers and continually updates its FAOLEX database and associated thematic collections. A key tool in the dissemination of

legislative information, FAOLEX is a free, online library of national and regional legislation, policies and international agreements on food, agriculture and renewable natural resources from around the world. Legal and policy texts are collected, indexed, summarized and categorized by jurisdiction, type of text, bibliographic elements, subject matter and controlled vocabularies.

LEGN wishes to develop a roster of suitable candidates to support the update, management, and development of the FAOLEX database and associated collections. This call for expressions of interest is for the purpose of identifying suitably qualified candidates who may be invited to undertake short-term assignments ranging in length from a few days or weeks to a maximum of six months. This call is aimed at legal information specialists with various levels of experience and expertise in the areas of development law, information management, and document management systems to fit one of the two profiles described below. Given FAOLEX’s global scope, linguistic diversity and multi-lingual skills are also important selection criteria. The consultant/subscriber may be located at the Organization’s headquarters in Rome (Italy), at one of the Organization’s decentralized offices, or be home based.

Applicants who have responded to earlier calls for expressions of interest issued by LEGN are advised to resubmit their applications if they wish to be considered under the present call unless they have already been included in the Corporate Roster.

Notwithstanding this call for expressions of interest, individual Vacancy Announcements may be issued for specific assignments where this is deemed appropriate.

Reporting Lines

The consultant/subscriber reports to the Senior Legal Officer (Chief) LEGN, in close collaboration with the Legal Officer (FAOLEX).

Technical Focus

Collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of legal and policy information relating to nutrition, food, agriculture and natural resource management

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of each selected candidate will be defined in the Terms of Reference for the specific assignments depending on their level of experience, expertise and language skills.


  1. Senior Legal Records & Information Specialists provide comprehensive programme support in the update, management and development of the FAOLEX database and thematic collections, involving technical supervision, training and mentoring, independent project assignments and representing FAOLEX in interactions/meetings with internal and external stakeholders. Their assigned tasks and responsibilities would normally include several of the following elements:

  • Conduct data quality assessments and oversight, ensuring the reliability, accuracy and consistency of FAOLEX records and adherence to internal data-entry requirements, standards and controlled vocabularies;

  • Document and analyse internal business processes and change requirements, capturing best practices, lessons learned and change management issues, contributing to improvements in internal processes, database configurations and online user experience;
  • Provide technical and subject matter expertise for activities associated with metadata management, including updating of the FAOLEX glossary and tagging new terms to the relevant records of the existing collection;
  • Train and mentor more junior employees on systems, methodologies, and Development Law subject matter considerations;
  • Liaise with internal and external stakeholders for purposes of outreach, training, capacity building and collaborations;
  • Undertake legal research, preparing legal notes, reports and online digests and profiles;
  • Provide technical expertise or advice in the identification, development and implementation of new thematic collections and databases, including concept notes, definition of user requirements, data structure, data-entry templates and guidance notes;
  • Troubleshooting systems, and testing and debugging new FAOLEX functionalities.

  1. Legal Records & Information Specialists perform data entry, processing, research and filing of a variety of legal and policy documents performed in an automated work environment, relative autonomy and adherence to standard operating procedures. Their assigned tasks and responsibilities will normally include several of the following elements:

  • Research and review a variety of information sources to identify appropriate legislation and policy documents for inclusion in the FAOLEX collections;
  • Analyse the content of the material to identify and select the more relevant concepts, map these concepts to the FAOLEX controlled vocabulary, and write abstracts of the content of materials;
  • Identify and index bibliographic elements of items added to the FAOLEX collections according to online data-entry templates;
  • Review older FAOLEX legislation to verify metadata accuracy and legal status;
  • Undertake legal research, preparing legal notes, reports and online digests and profiles;
  • Provide technical and subject matter support for activities associated with metadata management, including updating of the FAOLEX glossary and tagging new terms to the relevant records of the existing collection;
  • Assist in the creation and support of thematic databases and other new information tools and solutions.


Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in law or in another field together with at least two years of relevant experience. In some cases substantive experience may replace the requirement for a university degree.
  • Work experience: Senior Legal Records & Information Specialists: At least five years of relevant legal information management work. Legal Records & Information Specialists: At least one year of relevant legal information work experience.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for COF.REG. Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish for PSA.SBS.

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Analytical skills as demonstrated through research and analysis of a range of legal issues relating to sustainable development, relevant technical fields and the strategic programmes of the Organization;
  • Demonstrated capacity to collect, analyse, and input data in a database in an efficient and competent manner, even under time pressure and shifting priorities;
  • Experience in legal information management and data quality assurance. Knowledge of taxonomy management is an asset.
  • Experience in database management solutions/software, including designing and preparing reports, creating complex queries for data extraction based on user needs, analysing business requirements to improve processes, tools and services;
  • Effective organizational skills to supervise, organize, and evaluate the work of a team.

Selection criteria

  • Extent of knowledge of legal issues relating to sustainable development, relevant technical fields and the strategic
  • programmes of the Organization;
  • Ability to carry out legal research and analysis;
  • Extent of experience supporting and managing legal information data and systems;
  • Extent of skills working with and querying information management systems and databases;
  • Extent of language skills – knowledge of diverse languages and multilingual skills is an asset.
  • Quality of writing skills

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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