Posting Title: Legal Assistant, G5
Job Code Title: Legal Assistant
Department/Office: United Nations Office of Legal Affairs
Duty Station: New York, USA
Posting Period: 20 May 2021 – 18 June 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Legal Affairs-OLA-156045-R-New York (R)
Staffing Exercise: N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the General Legal Division (GLD) of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). The Legal Assistant reports to a Senior Legal Officer and a Principal Legal Officer.
Within limits of delegated authority, the Legal Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
• Researches and compiles legal materials for use in the preparation of legal opinions, including electronic searches of the archives of the Office of Legal Affairs as well as legal library materials, electronic digests and legal databases (e.g. Westlaw and Lexis) for applicable precedents and inclusion in studies and reports such as matters before the Administrative Tribunal.
• Handles, refers and assigns to cluster lawyers as appropriate a variety of verbal and written inquiries from internal and external parties, and follows up to ensure that action is being taken, and that all documents, correspondence and other information associated has been properly stored and indexed in an electronic format
• Maintains a schedule of workload assignments, schedules of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) and keeps track of assigned lawyers and submission deadlines.
• Under supervision, may review, summarize and index significant rulings, legal opinions, recommendations, and may be assigned to monitor the docket of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) for judgments or ordered rendered by the Tribunal and compile information about such judgments and orders.
• For the review of reporting officer, the Legal Assistant will, as required, draft, edit, proofread and conduct final check for accuracy of a variety of specialized legal documentation, legal instruments, publications and correspondence inclusive of but not limited to cooperation and contribution agreements, legal memoranda, submissions to the UNAT, in order to ensure conformity to relevant guidelines and requirements. Drafts, edits, proofreads and finalizes for signature and/or process a variety of correspondence and other communications, and maintains model agreements and forms of correspondence for addressing commonly requested advice.
• Services various committees, hearings and other meetings; selects and compiles relevant background materials; assists in the preparation of relevant documents; attends meetings and drafts minutes/notes; monitors follow-up actions, etc.
• Assists in the preparation of legal documents for electronic storage, access and circulation/publication, including document scanning and conversion, review of content and extraction of key data and text excerpts for categorization and indexing purposes, etc.
• Maintains and updates internal databases; indexes and case digests concerning model agreements, judgements, orders, rulings and other legal matters amongst other. Based on these, generates a variety of standard and non-standard statistical reports and data analysis that include but are not limited to matters such as such as judgements orders of the UNDT and UNAT, case workload, and use of extra budgetary resources.
• Provides initial technical support to users on information and communications technologies and provides a link to and liaises as necessary with the OLA information and communication support staff and with ITLD and OICT.
• Monitors deadlines, schedules, appointments/meetings for GLD Officers.
• Coordinates administrative services (e.g. translation of legal publications) to include preparing and monitoring requests, liaising with relevant units, and maintaining related statistics for reporting purposes as required.
• Performs a variety of administrative duties through standard internal tools such as Inspira, Ineed and Umoja, for matters such as attendance reporting, requesting office supplies, requesting facilities management services.
• May provide guidance/training to less experienced staff.
• Performs other ad hoc duties as assigned.
• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of organizational legal protocols and activities. Ability to conduct research from standard research sources, analyze information and compile relevant legal materials/information. Ability to maintain and interpret information from legal case management systems and monitor activities of the Tribunals in order to assess and inform stakeholders about relevant deadlines and priorities. Knowledge and ability to conduct statistical and other analysis of legal documentation. Ability to prepare legal documentation accurately and in accordance with relevant standards and guidelines. Ability to maintain information relevant to GLD’s matter management system and to manage the storage, archiving, retrieval and search of legal documents and related information from the relevant document management systems. Ability to conduct basic legal research using library and legal database and information systems. Ability to show tact and discretion in dealing with confidential matters and materials. 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. 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.
• 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 the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
High school diploma is required.
A minimum of five years of experience in paralegal work, conference servicing, general
office support or related area is required.
Experience in the preparation of legal documents for
electronic storage and access 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.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Applicants who have not passed the GGST at the time of application may be invited for the test after submitting an application. Having passed the Administrative Support Assessment Test [in English] at the United Nations headquarters, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, United Nations Office at Geneva, United Nations Office at Vienna, International criminal tribunal for Rwanda or International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia may be accepted in lieu of the GGST.
This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places 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. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.