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Legal Officer

New York City

  • Organization: UN - United Nations
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-02

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of Staff Legal Assistance (OSLA), Office of Administration of Justice (OAJ) in New York.

The Office of Staff Legal Assistance is headed by a Chief, who without prejudice to his or her responsibility to provide legal assistance to staff members in an independent and impartial manner is accountable to the Executive Director. Under the authority of the Executive Director, the Chief is responsible for the management and proper functioning of the programme of legal assistance to staff members in the internal justice system, including in administrative, disciplinary and appellate proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.

The Legal Officer will report to the Chief of OSLA.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer may be responsible for the following duties:

• Provide legal assistance to the persons included in the scope of the administration of justice as defined by General Assembly resolution 63/253 on 'Administration of Justice in the United Nations';
• Advise clients on issues relating to appeals against administrative decisions and the imposition of disciplinary matters;
• Represent and litigate on behalf of clients before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal;
• Prepare written and oral submissions to these bodies and ensure that they meet procedural requirements;
• Identify, where applicable, cases that are amenable to informal resolution, such as settlement or mediation and assist clients in the process;
• Assist in responding to complex inquiries and correspondence; Identify legal issues, draft, review and advise on legal documents and correspondence; Conduct extensive legal research and provide detailed analysis of cases and jurisprudence;
• Provide legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions;
• Assist the Office in producing accurate, comprehensive submissions, including by reviewing draft submissions for any inconsistencies or inaccuracies;
• Assist in maintaining the Office's registers (electronic and online) and a legal precedent reporting database;
• Assist in the preparation of reports on the work of the Office to the General Assembly and other bodies, as may be mandated;
• Assist in ensuring administrative and budgetary requirements of the New York Office or at the relevant OSLA duty station;
• Perform other duties as required.

Competencies

• Professionalism: Knowledge of all relevant rules and regulations, policies, procedures and operations of the United Nations, as well as of the applicable jurisprudence; Ability to apply legal and administrative expertise to analyze a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems, both individual case and policy-related and to develop innovative and creative solution; Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; Proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, legal submissions/motions, and related documents; Ability to conduct trials on behalf of clients, through leading and cross-examining witnesses and making substantial legal arguments before Tribunal judges; Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues; Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement; Ability to work with tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases; Knowledge of the UN system, organization and interrelationships; 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.

• Planning & 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.

• Client Orientation: 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.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in international 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.

Work Experience

• A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.

• At least two years of experience as an advocate/litigator before courts and tribunals is desirable.

• Experience within the UN common system or similar international organizations is desirable.

Languages

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

Assessment

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

Special Notice

• 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.

• 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.

• For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 March 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.

• Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

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.

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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