By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Legal Affairs Specialist, P-4, OED, New York, PAT 117130

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-22

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

The Legal Affairs Specialist (P-4) reports to the Senior Legal Affairs Specialist (P-5). The position is in the Office of the Executive Director, New York.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, a commitment

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

The Legal Affairs Specialist (P-4) reports to the Senior Legal Affairs Specialist (P-5). The position is in the Office of the Executive Director, New York.

How can you make a difference?

Under the overall guidance of the Chief Legal Counsel and supervision of the Senior Legal Affairs Specialist, and as part of a dedicated team, the Legal Affairs Specialist will provide guidance and advice on institutional and commercial procurement, donor agreements and contracts related to programme support and project implementation to ensure adherence to organizational financial, procurement, contracting and legal policies, rules and procedures; and to ensure that the organization is protected from legal exposure.

Main functions will include: 

  1. Assist in advising and providing support on contracts and other legal instruments, agreements, and arrangements (including but not limited to funding agreements with donors and other international organizations).
  2. Assist in advising on the legal dimensions of establishment, structure and implementation of UNICEF collaborations with external partners including but not limited to other UN organisations (including international financial institutions), civil society, and the private sector.
  3. Assist in advising on the implementation of evolving programme initiatives, strategies and operational practices, from the legal perspective, focusing on innovations to facilitate more efficient creation of partnerships.
  4. Assist in advising on the resolution of disputes, particularly those disputes involving possible liability for the Organisation.
  5. Other duties as directed, which may include contributing to the review and design of new legal instruments, promoting knowledge of legal issues and instruments with the organization


To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • A post-graduate university law degree is required (for example. Ll. B post-graduate; Ll.M.; J.D.) in a relevant field of law (e.g. international law, commercial law); a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

  • A minimum of eight (8) years' professional experience as a lawyer practicing in a relevant field including as in-house counsel, a law firm, a government and/or an international organization’s legal office. Prior experience in the UN system is an asset.

  • Fluency in English. Proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese is highly desirable.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

Core Values

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability

Core competencies

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

Functional Competencies:

  • Analyzing- III
  • Leading and Supervising
  • Formulating strategies and concepts - II
  • Relating and Networking - Il
  • Persuading and Influencing- Ill
  • Creating and Innovating – II


  • Thorough knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments
  • Excellent research, legal writing and drafting skills
  • Excellent verbal communication and negotiation skills
  • Client orientation; constructive approach to resolution of problems
  • Ability to work with utmost discretion in handing sensitive and confidential matters
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with staff at all levels

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


UNICEF  is currently undergoing organizational changes; while unlikely, the exact location of the post may change.  If reassigned or relocated to New York, and in case post location changes,  candidates may be expected to relocate to a new location again during the initial contract or assignment period.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.