Job Opening

Posting Title: Legal Officer
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 19 May 2016 - 17 July 2016
Job Opening Number: 16-Legal Affairs-OLA-59864-R-New York (R)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs. The incumbent reports to a Senior Legal Officer.


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

• Handles a range of issues related to international public law, including the application of legal instruments in consultation with a senior Legal Officer;
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepares studies, briefs, reports and correspondence on the topics to be addressed by the Preparatory Committee established by General Assembly resolution 69/292;
• Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.;
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, documents, reports, etc.;
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of international public law issues, including General Assembly resolutions and decisions involving, inter alia, issues relating to institutional questions, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, procedural issues arising during meetings of United Nations organs, etc.;
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of guidance and support to Member States and observers participating in the Preparatory Committee;
• Reviews and drafts briefs on the work of relevant competent intergovernmental organizations, specialized agencies, funds and programmes;
• Services or assists senior colleagues in servicing the meetings of the Preparatory Committee, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.;
• Assists in representing the Organization at meetings;
• Administers programmes of legal technical assistance;
• Prepares or assists with the preparation of seminars and briefings, lectures on various legal issues at such events;
• Provides guidance to more junior staff.


• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of public international law, and in particular, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related instruments. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information 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 good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. 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 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 international law, with emphasis on courses in public international law, in particular, related to the law of the sea and ocean affairs or related area.

A first-level university degree in combination with two 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. Legal experience in ocean affairs and the law of the sea is required.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
Home | Privacy notice | Site map | Fraud alert | Contact Us
Copyright 2018 United Nations. All rights reserved