Legal Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - New York, NY (14 days ago)4.3

Legal Specialist
Job ID
Practice Area - Job Family
Vacancy End Date
(Midnight New York, USA)
Time Left
8d 20h 14m
Duty Station
New York, United States
Education & Work Experience
I-Master's Level Degree - 7 year(s) experience


Vacancy Type
FTA International
Posting Type
Contract Duration
1 Year with possibility for extension

The United Nations Development Programme is the global development network of the United Nations system that is on the ground in 177 countries, with its Headquarters in New York, USA. The Bureau for Management Services is the central operations Bureau in UNDP Headquarters that supports the Organization in key management areas, including legal affairs. The Bureau provides operational/management infrastructure services and solutions for UNDP to achieve programme and development results, among other issues, ensuring policy adherence in operations management within UN Rules & Regulations and safeguarding UNDP’s accountability vis-à-vis United Nations Member States and other relevant partners.

The Legal Office (LO) is part of the Bureau for Management Services and is the exclusive source of legal advice on operational matters to the Administrator and all UNDP business units.

The Administrative Law Practice within the Legal Office is responsible for:

Advising senior management in Headquarters, Regional Centers, Country Offices and of affiliated Funds and Programmes on legal issues arising in the handling of claims, allegations of misconduct or the resolution of matters involving UNDP staff members and UN Volunteers (UNV);
Representing the Organization in cases and settlements within the internal justice system, including the UN Dispute Tribunal (UNDT);
Assisting in the formulation and review of policies and procedures;
Addressing all legal questions arising in the administration and management of staff members and UNVs including privileges and immunities issues and strategies to respond to claims.
Under the overall supervision of the Director of the Legal Office, Bureau for Management Services and reporting directly to the Senior Legal Adviser and Head of the Administrative Law Practice Group, the Legal Specialist provides support to UNDP Senior management, Headquarters units and Country Offices, as well as to other Funds and Agencies, as appropriate, in the Administrative Law practice area.

Duties and Responsibilities
Provide legal advice, to UNDP senior management, Headquarters units, Regional Centers, Country Offices, and other Funds and Agencies as appropriate, such as the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UNV, on the application of the Staff Regulations, Rules and procedures governing the internal justice system and other relevant aspects of human resources management. The provision of legal advice will range from issues such as the rights and obligations of staff, the legal status of staff and their dependents, financial recovery, to matters concerning the privileges and immunities of the Organization, including taxation and arrest and detention, in coordination with the UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), other UN Agencies and offices, and UNDP’s Office of Human Resources (OHR) as appropriate.
Prepare written responses and other submissions as required on behalf of the Administration in response to applications and other submissions filed before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT). Represent the Administration before the UNDT, including but not limited to, in direction hearings and hearings on the merits. Generally attend to all stages of proceedings before the UNDT, including the conduct of settlement negotiations and/or mediation proceedings where required, as well as advising senior management on appeals and supporting OLA in appeals before the UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT).
Advise senior officials regarding legal issues arising in investigations into allegations of misconduct, including interim measures. Draft charges and prepare recommendations on the conclusion of proceedings including any appropriate administrative or disciplinary sanction.
Assist in the drafting, interpretation and review of policies and procedures involving Administrative/Employment Law issues.
Enhance knowledge within UNDP about administrative legal matters through participating in and preparing training programmes.
Generally provide advice on a broad range of issues involving substantive and procedural questions of Administrative Law.
Prepare legal opinions and perform legal research and analysis on legal issues for the office including on complex novel issues that may arise as part of the UN system of justice.
Represent the Legal Office in relevant UNDP and inter-organizational meetings, when required. Supervise the work of the Legal Associate for the tasks he/she gives him/her. Travel on mission as required.
Perform other related functions as requested by the LO Director or the Senior Legal Adviser, including functions in the area of Corporate and Institutional Law.
Innovation - Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Adapts ideas to context
Adapts deliverables to meet client needs
Interprets policy within context and applies with judgment
Anticipates obstacles and applies practical solutions
Embraces new methods
Continually seeks improvement
Collaborates to improve methods and delivery
Leadership - Ability to persuade others to follow

Inclusive in decision making
Seeks and recognizes individual contributions;
Encourages dialogue and acts in accordance with team inputs
Anticipates and resolves conflict
Embraces differing opinions seeing them as opportunities for improvement
Gives credit to others
Determines appropriate resources, methods, partners, information and solutions
People Management - Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Encourages collaboration and improves team performance
Takes ownership of responsibilities
Involves team in different steps of the process;
Seeks and values other’s initiatives and expertise
Drives team engagement

Communication - Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Encourages collaboration and improves team performance
Takes ownership of responsibilities
Involves team in different steps of the process;
Seeks and values other’s initiatives and expertise
Drives team engagement
Delivery - Ability to get things done
Makes new ideas work
Critically assesses value and relevance of existing thinking and policy
Embraces difficult obstacles that interfere with getting work done
Anticipates constraints and identifies solutions
Strives to improve team reputation with clients
Expands capacity of team to deliver on time and on target
Accountable for project implementation and/or team deliverables

Legal (General)
Ability to advise on legal matters including UNDP's legal status, policy development, corporate and operational matters, status and conduct.
Legal Advisory
Knowledge of legal issues facing the UNDP and ability to apply them to strategic and/or practical situations.
Legal Representation
Ability to legally represent the organization in corporate/institutional contracts and agreements as well as in administrative legal matters.
Legal (General)
Knowledge of UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UN Charter, relevant General Assembly resolutions and other relevant legislative documents.
Legal (General)
Ability to pro-actively engage on matters and function autonomously in determining case strategy.
Legal (General)
Integrity and Probity: Ability to work with utmost discretion in handling sensitive and confidential matters.
Knowledge Management
Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.

Required Skills and Experience

An advanced degree in law (Master’s level) or equivalent.
Specialization in International Law and/or Administrative Law is an asset.

Admittance to the bar of a Member State or equivalent qualification to practice law in a Member State is desirable.
A minimum of 7 years’ experience in the practice of public international law with a law firm, a government and/or an international organization’s legal office is required.
Significant experience with the United Nations system legal framework, experience working with personnel/Administrative Law issues of the United Nations organizations is essential.
Experience in handling cases involving allegations of misconduct and appeals against administrative decisions is a requirement.
A background in advising senior management on legal issues and experience in litigation before International Administrative Tribunals is highly valued.

Language Requirements:
Excellent command of oral and written English.
Working knowledge of another United Nations official language would be an advantage.

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.