Senior Legal Officer, P5

Senior Legal Officer, P5

United Nations Office of Administration of Justice

New York, United States

Org. Setting and Reporting

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

The Office of Staff Legal Assistance is headed by the Chief (Senior Legal Officer) who is accountable to the Executive Director of the Office of Administration of Justice, without prejudice to his or her responsibility to provide legal assistance to staff members in an independent and impartial manner. 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 Senior Legal Officer (Chief) will report to the Executive Director of OAJ.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Legal Officer (Chief) will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Ensures the effective and efficient discharge of OSLA's mandate;
  • Coordinates and supervises the work of legal officers and the other staff of the unit;
  • Provides strategic legal and policy advice and managerial support to legal officers to maximize resource utilization and efficiencies;
  • Advises clients on matters relating to appeals against administrative decisions and the imposition of disciplinary measures;
  • Provides legal advice on diverse and complex substantive and procedural questions with a view to resolving workplace disputes;
  • Represents clients and coordinates the representation of clients in the formal internal justice system including before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal;
  • Prepares written and oral submissions to the Tribunals in accordance with procedural requirements;
  • Manages the human, financial and other resources allocated to the unit, as required;
  • Develops and maintains standard procedures and monitoring and reporting mechanisms as well as innovative ideas in problem prevention and dispute resolution;
  • Ensures the maintenance of the unit's registers (electronic and online) and database;
  • Prepares input for reports on the work of the unit to the General Assembly and other bodies, as may be mandated, and represents the unit in relevant bodies;
  • Analyses the implications of emerging issues in the unit and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures;
  • Coordinates and participates in outreach and training activities by OSLA;
  • Establishes, manages and coordinates a reliable network of volunteer/pro bono counsel and legal interns and ensures their supervision and support;
  • Advises the Executive Director on administrative, human resources and logistical matters related to the unit's operational activities.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of administrative and employment law and judicial procedures, preferably including in the United Nations or other international public organization; Ability to apply legal expertise to analysing 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. Ability to lead and cross-examine witnesses and make substantive legal arguments and oral submissions before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal and United Nations Dispute Tribunal. 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 UN system, organization and interrelationships. Knowledge of staff rules and regulations, policies, procedures and operations of the United Nations, as well as the jurisprudence of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal and United Nations Dispute Tribunal. Strong managerial and interpersonal skills. Ability to use electronic search engines. Ability to oversee maintenance of OSLA database. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 cases; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • Managing Performance: Establishes priorities and plans, coordinates and monitors work of others; delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in law is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree) in law with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.
  • Experience in judicial structures and procedures is required.
  • Experience in giving legal advice in the areas of civil procedure, administrative law or employment law is required.
  • Experience as a litigator in the areas of civil law, administrative law or employment law is required.
  • Experience in managing a legal practice or office, including the management of lawyers, is required.
  • Experience in representing clients in employment disputes is desirable.
  • Experience in criminal law litigation is desirable.
  • Experience in management of case files is desirable.


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

Apply Now

Don't forget to mention IntJobs when applying.

Share this Job

© EuroJobsites 2020

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

Newsletter | Recruit | Advertise | Privacy | Contact Us

© EuroJobsites 2020

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

This website uses cookies to make your experience better. Continued use of this website means you accept our cookie policy.  Accept Cookies