This position is located in the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). The Legal Assistant reports to the Chief of the Treaty Section.
Within delegated authority, the Legal Assistant will be responsible for the following duties.
- Provides legal and general office support to the Chief, the legal officers and other staff members, in the discharge of depositary functions under multilateral treaties and registration under Article 102 of the Charter.
- Researches and compiles legal materials for use in the preparation of legal opinions in the area of treaty law and practice.
- Handles, or refers to the appropriate officer as appropriate, a variety of verbal and written inquiries from internal and external parties, including providing information on processes and procedures related to specific legal activities, instruments, participation in treaties, requirements for the deposit of legal documentation, etc.
- Under supervision, may review, verify and process legal instruments (full powers, instruments of ratification, accession, etc.) ensuring conformity to relevant guidelines and requirements, extract key data and update database (Treaty Information and Publication System), monitor requisite follow-up actions, approvals, etc.
- Under supervision, may edit and conduct final check for accuracy of a variety of specialized legal documentation (full powers, instruments of ratification, accession, etc.), instruments, publications and related correspondence.
- Services various meetings; selects and compiles relevant background materials, notably on treaty participation; assists in the preparation of relevant documents; attends meetings and drafts minutes/notes; monitors follow-up actions, etc.
- Coordinates ceremonies (e.g. signings, deposit of legal instruments, etc.) and related meetings, ensuring timely receipt of legal instruments and other requisite documentation.
- Assists in the preparation of legal documents (treaties, treaty actions, depositary notifications), 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.
- Creates, as necessary, maintains and updates internal databases (notably the Treaty Information and Publication System); generates a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases.
- Provides initial technical support to users to resolve hardware/software problems and provides a link with the Information Management unit in the Section; assists in forecasting budget for information technology requirements; maintains an inventory of existing computer equipment.
- Provides general office support services; drafts, edits, proofreads and finalizes for signature and/or process a variety of correspondence and other communications on legal matters.
- Sets up and maintains reference files/records (electronic and paper).
- Schedules appointments/meetings, monitors deadlines, etc.
- 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 (e.g. leave recording, request for office supplies and equipment, etc.).
- May provide guidance/training to less experienced staff.
- Performs other ad hoc duties as assigned.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of activities relating to public international law, particularly in the area of international treaties. Ability to conduct research from standard research sources, analyze information and compile relevant legal materials/information. 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.
- 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.
High school diploma or equivalent.
A minimum of five years of experience in paralegal work, conference servicing, general office support or related area is required. Experience in conducting legal research is desirable. Experience in using correspondence and document management systems, such as Documentum or similar systems is desirable. Experience at the United Nations or in a similiar international organization is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and French are required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
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.
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.
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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.
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.
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.