Associate Legal Officer, United Nations Young Professionals Program

Job Opening

Posting Title: 2015 YPP EXAMINATION – LEGAL AFFAIRS (for external applicants), P2


Department/ Office: Office of Human Resources Management


Posting Period: 24 June 2015-23 August 2015

Job Opening number: 15-LEG-DM OHRM-44365-E-MULTIPLE D/S (O)


Special Notice

  • The purpose of the present Job Opening is to invite applications from external candidates who wish to take the 2015 Young Professionals Programme examination in the job family of Legal Affairs. UN Secretariat staff members who are eligible to apply through the “G to P” or “G to N” track must not apply through this Job Opening.
  • The eligibility requirements of the examination are:
  1. At least a three-year first level university degree in the field of study listed in the Education Section of this Job Opening;
  2. Born on or after 1 January 1983;
  3. Fluent in either English or French; and 4. A national of a participating member state. The participating member states are Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea (Republic of ), Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s  Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia,  Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand,  Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia,  Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Zambia.
  • Applying to more than one job family will result in automatic disqualification.
  • Incomplete applications and applications that are received after the above deadline (11:59 pm New York HQ local time) will not be accepted under any circumstances. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications early to avoid problems due to heavy last-minute internet traffic.
  • Upon selection, candidates successful in the Young Professionals Programme examinations will be initially appointed at the P-1 or P-2 level depending on their qualifications. Those appointed at the P-1 level shall be promoted to a position at the P-2 level following a minimum of two years of satisfactory performance and depending on the availability of posts. After two years on their initial assignment, candidates may apply for other positions through the staff selection system so long as they meet the qualification requirements.
  • Candidates should monitor the UN careers page frequently for updates. All important notifications and updates will be posted there.


Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located primarily in the Office of Legal Affairs, the Department of Management, the Office of the Administration of Justice, the Office on Drugs and Crime, International Criminal Tribunals and in Peace-keeping and political missions, but may also be found in other offices throughout the United Nations Secretariat. Incumbents typically report to a senior Legal Officer, or, in Tribunals, to a Prosecuting Trial Attorney.

If you are successful, you will be considered for YPP positions as they become available throughout the Secretariat including field offices. Initially you may be appointed for two years and then be reviewed for a continuing appointment. The Organization promotes mobility within and across duty stations and job families.



  • Within delegated authority and depending on location, the Associate Legal Officer may be responsible for the following duties: (These duties are generic, and may not be performed by all Associate Legal Officers.)
  • Conducts legal research on a diverse range of assigned issues in international law and other area(s) of specialization in public and private law, using multiple research sources; selects relevant material, analyzes information and presents findings for internal review.
  • Assists Legal Officers in the review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities and inconsistencies, etc.
  • Assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, etc.
  • Assists in the preparation of legislative and other legal standards, legal opinions/advice on a wide range of international public and private law issues, including the United Nations Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions involving, inter alia, issues relating to privileges and immunities, peace and security, institutional questions, treaty law and practice, comparative and international commercial law, procedural issues arising during meetings of United Nations organs, constitutional and administrative law of the Organization.
  • Assesses the relevance or admissibility of evidence gathered by investigators.
  • Assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with governments, NGOs and other public and private entities, as well as claims and disputes.
  • Assists in representing the Organization before arbitral and other tribunals or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases.
  • Assists in providing legal advice on human resources matters and assists in reviewing administrative decisions.
  • Assists in administering programmes of legal technical assistance.
  • Assists Legal Officers in servicing diplomatic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, etc.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



Professionalism: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. 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.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies, identifies priority activities and assignments, adjusts priorities as required, allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work, foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning, monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary and uses time efficiently.

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.



At least a first-level university degree in the main course of study “Law” including any of the following fields of study: General Law, History of Law, International Law, Jurisprudence, Labour Law, Local Magistrates, Maritime Law, Law of the sea, Comparative Law, International Commercial Law, Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Affairs Law, Environmental Law.


Work Experience

No work experience is required.



Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Assessment Method

Applications will be screened on the basis of the eligibility criteria.  Only up to the 40 most qualified applicants per job family and per nationality/member state will be convoked for the written examination. The cost of traveling to the examination centre is to be covered by the examinee.

The written examination shall consist of:

(i) A general paper, which tests drafting and analytical skills; and

(ii) A specialized paper, which tests the substantive knowledge of the particular job family for which the examinee is being tested.

All examinees in all job families shall complete the same general paper.  The general paper and/or specialized paper shall be eliminatory. The paper that is going to be marked first shall be eliminatory, and only examinees successful in that paper of the examination shall have the other paper marked. Each part of the specialized paper may be eliminatory. The Specialised Boards of Examiners shall decide on the part(s) of the specialised paper that will be eliminatory.

Only examinees who are successful in the written examination will be invited to the oral examination. The oral examination will be conducted via online video conference.


United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). 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 At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application.  In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills.  Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening.  Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted.   Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.


No Fee



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