LEGAL ASSISTANT [Temporary]
New York City (United States of America)
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Specialized Advisory Unit (SAU) of the Client Relations and Specialized Advisory Section (CRSAS), Operational Support and Advisory Service (OSAS), Human Resources Services Division (HRSD), Office of Support Operations (OSO), Department of Operational Support (DOS).
The Department of Operational Support (DOS) was established to provide end-to-end operational support, advisory services and other solutions to entities across the Secretariat, including departments, offices away from headquarters, peace operations, regional commissions and tribunals.
The Human Resources Services Division (HRSD) provides dedicated services in support of human resources requirements of client entities, from process development through service delivery.
The Operational Support and Advisory Service (OSAS) serves as an enabling partner to support clients in fulfilling their mandates. The key services include: guidance to entities on the proper exercise of delegated authorities, advice on the application of human resources policies and procedure, advice to managers related to formal and informal conflict resolution, input/feedback to the development and/or improvement of simplified policies and procedures, support to clients in developing, formulating and implementing customized entity-specific HR strategies and plans, and support to clients and shared services in the achievement of their human resources management targets and objectives.
The Client Relations and Specialized Advisory Services Section (CRSAS) serves as the primary entry point for client entities seeking human resources advice, provides specialized advice in the prevention and resolution of conflict including cases in the system of administration of justice (mainly at the MEU and pre-MEU stages) and maintains the personnel records of New York and international field staff.
The Specialized Advisory Unit (SAU) ensures consistency and quality in the application of United Nations human resources rules, policies and procedures with a specific focus on the prevention and resolution of workplace conflicts. The Unit serves as focal point within HRSD for appeals, cases coming from the Ombudsman, and complex performance management cases. In addition, the Unit develops and delivers operational guidance based on lessons learned from the informal and formal systems of administration of justice.
The incumbent will report to the Chief of the Specialize Advisory Unit (SAU) or to another designated official within the area of responsibility.
Within the delegated authority, the Legal Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
Advisory Services and Client Relations Management
• Conducts basic research on assigned cases, using existing legal files, Administration of Justice jurisprudence and other legal sources (e.g. UN juridical yearbook, other Tribunal websites, national law) to verify facts, cite precedents, identify issues, and draft findings for review by supervisors;
• Independently handles all types of verbal and written inquiries from internal and external parties (Chiefs of HR, Administrative Law Division, Management Evaluation), including providing information on processes and procedures related to complex issues of human resources management related to performance management or administration of justice cases;
• Maintains legal reference files related to particular cases, identifying materials for inclusion in files and retrieving files as necessary, as well as maintaining the library of other legal references and best practice documents, including reviewing and proposing amendments to filing classifications as necessary.
• Reviews and edits the Division's submissions to the Management Evaluation Unit in ongoing cases; ensures approval, transmission and storing of final records;
• Monitors progress in resolving formal and informal disputes in accordance with agreed actions and timelines; follows-up with responsible parties to ensure action is taken and proposes alternative actions to address unexpected challenges in implementing relevant human resources actions;
• Generates a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases, prepares presentations based on such reports and maintains them in a secure area for future reference.
Capacity-building and knowledge management across the Secretariat
• Supports the development of policy-related process guides, guidance packages, and Standard Operating Procedures by researching applicable Staff Rules and Regulations, administrative issuances and jurisprudence and feeding into the discussions; reviews and edits process guides and guidance packages before finalization;
• Drafts process guides in areas of experience;
• Supports the identification and prioritization of internal and external capacity-building and knowledge management needs in the human resources community by observing trends in the types and number of queries and jurisprudence and by conducting and analyzing surveys of the effectiveness of guidance delivered;
• Assists in the development and maintenance of a digest of UNDT/UNAT cases for quick reference and capacity-building efforts among the human resources community by conducting legal research and proposing new entries or amendments.
• Consolidates inputs from the Unit to Division-wide projects or tasks such as proposed amendments to various human resources policy documents such as ST/SGBs, ST/AIs, and ST/ICs, etc.;
• Provides technical assistance for meeting arrangements;
• Provides guidance and training to less experienced staff;
• Performs other duties as required.
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.
Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
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.
High school diploma or equivalent is required.
A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in paralegal work, conference servicing, general office support or related area is required.
Experience in human resources management is desirable.
Experience with administration of justice systems in international organizations or in human resources policy implementation is desirable.
Experience with maintaining and generating reports from databases is desirable.
Experience with data monitoring and reporting using ERP systems is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in 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 temporarily available until 29 September 2022. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
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. Having passed the Administrative Support Assessment Test [in English] at the United Nations headquarters, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, United Nations Office at Geneva, United Nations Office at Vienna, International criminal tribunal for Rwanda or International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia may be accepted in lieu of the GGST.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
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.
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.