Legal Officer, P-3

UN Office of Legal Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 06

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the 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 Senior Legal Officer.


The Legal Officer will 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 analysis, 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 the 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, etc.;
  • Respond to requests for information. - Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of international law, in particular of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related instruments; Analytical skills and ability to conduct legal research on a range of relatively complex and intricate issues relevant to the law of the sea; proficiency in legal drafting skills and ability to draft clearly and well under time pressure; ability to apply sound judgement 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) in international law, with emphasis on public international law is required. Specialization in the law of the sea is desirable. 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 international 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 servicing intergovernmental meetings 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. Demonstrated experience working in a donor, or donor-funded, project context, in particular with law of the sea projects, is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this position,fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.


Application instructions

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