Legal Officer, P3

United Nations Office of Legal Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 27

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Peacekeeping Support Cluster of the General Legal Division, Office of Legal Affairs. The Legal Officer reports to the Principal Legal Officer and the Director of the General Legal Division.


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

  • Provides and assists in the provision of legal advice on a wide range of legal matters involving issues of international, public, private, and administrative law, including the interpretation and application of constitutive, legislative and other instruments governing United Nations activities and operations.
  • Prepares and assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions, which may include those related to administration and management, institutions support, peacekeeping and other operational activities and separately administered programmes and funds.
  • Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.
  • Undertakes review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.
  • Handles and assists in the provision of legal advice on a wide range of issues relating to peacekeeping, special political missions and other operations in the field, including contribution agreements and other collaborative arrangements with Member States, other international organizations, members of the United Nations system and external actors, administrative and management issues, including personnel administration and entitlements, conduct and discipline and United Nations compensation schemes, commercial issues, including commercial contracts, disputes and insurance arrangements, United Nations investigations, Boards of Inquiry and third party claims.
  • Reviews, advises on and drafts complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities and other legal documents and advises on and participates in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes.
  • Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of financial and staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions and the drafting of administrative issuances.
  • Assists in representing the Organization before arbitral and other tribunals or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases.
  • Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of the United Nations and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of international law, including the privileges and immunities of international organizations, in particular, the United Nations. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions. 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, or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. 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 to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of United Nations 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.
  • 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 law is required. A first-level university degree in law, in combination with two additional years of the required work 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.
  • Experience working in a law firm or in an international organization or in governmental service dealing with matters of international law is required.
  • Experience in dealing with issues related to the operational activities of United Nations, or other international organizations’ peace or other operations in the field is desirable.
  • Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the university degree in law recognized by the United Nations.


  • 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 United Nations official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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