UN Women: Legal Specialist

Advertised on behalf of :

Application Deadline :24-Nov-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts.

Under the overall supervision of Legal Adviser the Legal Specialist will provide legal advice to UN Women management, HQ units, regional, sub-regional and country offices, as required.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist the Legal Adviser in providing legal advice, assistance and support concerning UN Women’s resource mobilization activities, including the preparation, review and negotiation of UN Women donor and partner agreements, and the preparation of standard forms of contracts for use by UN Women. 
  • Assist the Legal Adviser in providing legal advice to UN Women senior management, headquarters units, country offices, on the application of the Staff Regulations, Rules and procedures governing the internal justice system and other relevant aspects of human resources management, including disciplinary matters, rights and obligations of staff, legal status of staff and their dependents, financial recovery, taxation and insurance issues.
  • Assist the Legal Adviser in preparing written responses and other submissions as required on behalf of the Executive Director in response to applications and other submissions filed before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT). Assist in representing the Administration before the UNDT, including but not limited to, in direction hearings and hearings on the merits.  Generally assist in attending to all stages of proceedings before the UNDT, including the conduct of settlement negotiations and/or mediation proceedings where required.  Liaise with UN/OLA regarding UNDT cases involving UN Women, UN/OLA’s representation of the Secretary-General before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT), in cases involving UN Women, and other administration of justice related issues.
  • Assist the Legal Adviser in providing legal advice in relation to internal and external investigations into the use of UN Women financial and human resources.  Assist in advising on and pursuing recovery for losses to UN Women.  Liaise with UN/OLA with respect to cases involving possible criminal conduct by UN Women officials, experts on mission, or other third parties, for possible referrals to the national authorities of the appropriate Member States, and with respect to investigations and proceedings relating to UN Women, as conducted by Member States.
  • Assist the Legal Adviser in providing legal advice, assistance and support concerning UN Women’s procurement activities and contracting requirements, including the preparation, review and negotiation of commercial agreements and contracts for UN Women, and the preparation of standard forms of contracts for use by UN Women.
  • Assist in reviewing, negotiating and settling claims and disputes arising from agreements, contracts and other arrangements, including commercial claims and disputes involving the Organization.
  • Assist in the drafting and interpretation of policies and procedures governing the operations of UN Women.
  • Based on experience gained from addressing issues related to any of the legal functions, identify and advise on areas where systemic or policy changes may be warranted in order to strengthen UN Women’s accountability and/or allow operational units to carry out their functions more effectively and efficiently, including continual review and updating of standard agreements, texts, policies and procedures, in consultation with the concerned substantive units.
  • Assist the Legal Adviser in providing legal advice, in consultation with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (UN/OLA) on issues of privileges and immunities, to ensure respect for the privileges and immunities of UN Women, its officials and experts on mission.
  • Assist the Legal Adviser in negotiating and establishing, in consultation with UN/OLA, host country, conference and other agreements, constitutive instruments and other legal texts and instruments required for the conduct of operational activities carried out by UN Women in the various Member States. 
  • Enhance knowledge within UN Women about legal matters through participating in and preparing training programmes.
  • Develop and maintain the Legal Support intranet site.   


Core values:


  • Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


  • Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Respect for Diversity:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies:

Ethics and Values:

  • Demonstrating / Safeguarding Ethics and Integrity.

Organizational Awareness:

  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.

Developing and Empowering People / Coaching and Mentoring:

  • Self-development, initiative-taking.

Working in Teams:

  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work.

Communicating Information and Ideas:

  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively.

Self-management and Emotional intelligence:

  • Creating synergies through self-control.

Conflict Management / Negotiating and Resolving Disagreements:

  • Managing conflict.

Knowledge Sharing / Continuous Learning:

  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.

Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:

  • Informed and transparent decision.  

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure;
  • Excellent skills in drafting under pressure a broad range of documents of a legal nature, including briefing notes and reports on legal issues and submissions to courts and tribunals;
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to provide oral briefings on complex legal issues to legal and non-legal audiences;
  • Sound negotiation skills;
  • Client orientation with constructive approach to resolution of problems and dedication to providing timely support;
  • Demonstrated consciousness and efficiency in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and personal maturity: sense of initiative;
  • Integrity and probity; ability to work with utmost discretion in handling sensitive and confidential matters;
  • Sound judgment;
  • Ability to multi-task, handling a complex workload involving concurrent deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team;
  • Understanding of UN Women’s goals and programmes;
  • Fully proficient computer skills and ability to use relevant software applications, in particular information databases, internet/intranet services, library sources, etc.;
  • Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint and electronic media applications.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in law. 


  • At least 5 years of practical experience in the practice of law with a law firm, a government and/or an international organization’s legal office.


  • Excellent command of oral and written English. Knowledge of another United Nations official language, particularly French or Spanish, is an asset.   


  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment;
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment, please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF file. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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