Legal Officer, P3

United Nations Office of Legal Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Oct 24

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs. Under the overall supervision of the Director of the Division, the Legal Officer will report directly to a Principal Legal Officer and Senior Legal Officer.


Within delegated authority and depending on location, the Legal Officer may be responsible for the following duties:

  • Conduct extensive legal research and analysis and prepare or assist in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports of the Secretary-General, comparative studies, briefs, teaching materials and correspondence dealing with legal and other aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its implementation.
  • Review legal documents, instruments or other material relating to ocean affairs and the law of the sea.
  • Assist in servicing meetings convened under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and or pursuant to relevant General Assembly resolutions, including preparation of background materials, summaries of discussions meeting reports, etc.
  • Provide assistance to States in the uniform and consistent application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related agreements on ocean issues in consultation with Senior Legal Officers.
  • Assist in representing the Organization at meetings, conferences, seminars.
  • Respond to requests for information.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Professionalism: 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. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in international law. A first level university degree in law in combination with two additional years of qualifying 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 of which a minimum of three years working experience in the law of the sea is required.
  • Experience in teaching or lecturing on subjects of international law, in particular law of the sea, and in organizing courses or seminars is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter