Internship - Legal Office

World Food Programme, Rome, Italy

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
15th July, 2019

Job Description

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. WFP is an autonomous joint subsidiary programme of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization. We are currently seeking to fill one or more intern positions in the Legal Office based in Rome, Italy.

Brief description of Legal Office:

The Legal Office provides support for WFP’s mission through its three branches – the Administrative and Employment Law Branch (LEGA), the Contractual and Constitutional Law Branch (LEGC) and the Maritime, Transport and Insurance Law Branch (LEGM). You will be selected to work in one of two branches—either LEGA or LEGC—with the possibility of doing some cross-over work between branches.

Duties and responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of a Legal Officer, the candidate will perform the following duties:

  • Conduct legal research into and assist in interpreting WFP’s regulations and rules and other internal normative sources of law, and public international law, including but not limited to international treaties governing privileges and immunities and the jurisprudence of the international tribunals, such as the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal;
  • Prepare legal briefs, opinions, memoranda and correspondence;
  • Assist in the drafting, review and negotiation of commercial contracts and agreements with governments, UN agencies, international and national partners and vendors;
  • Analyse and assess evidence collected in cases involving alleged employee misconduct;
  • Interpret and apply international treaties, and assist in drafting diplomatic communications to the governments of countries in which WFP works;
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Qualifications and experience

  • Candidates must be currently enrolled in, or about to begin, the final year of an undergraduate law programme (first degree); be currently enrolled in a graduate law programme (second degree, e.g., master's or JD); or have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate law programme within six months of the deadline for applications. In all cases, candidates must have attended a course within the last 12 months for credit towards the law degree. (If you are selected, a university certification will be required.)
  • Proficiency in MS Office (in particular, Word, Excel, and Power Point).
  • Previous legal experience in a law firm, in-house, or the legal office of another international organisation preferred but not required.

Required soft skills/WFP Competencies:


  • Understands WFP’s Strategic Objectives and the link to own work objectives.
  • Flexibly adapts individual contributions to accommodate changes in direction from supervisors.
  • Recognizes and shares with team members the ways in which individual contributions relate to WFP’s mission.
  • Sets daily tasks that align with WFP’s overall operations.


  • Assesses own strengths and weaknesses to increase self-awareness and includes these in conversations on own developmental goal.
  • Participates in open dialogue, and values the diverse opinion of others, regardless of background, culture, experience, or country assignment.
  • Proactively seeks feedback and coaching to build confidence and develop and improve individual skills.
  • Participates in accomplishing team activities and goals in the face of challenging circumstances.


  • Shows willingness to explore and experiment with new ideas and approaches in own work.
  • Aims to deliver results within individual scope of work on time and without errors; seeks assistance and guidance from senior lawyers, as needed.
  • Commits to upholding individual accountabilities and responsibilities in the face of ever-changing country or functional priorities.
  • Makes rational decisions about individual activities when faced with uncertain circumstances, including in times of ambiguity regarding information or manager direction.


  • Seeks to understand and adapt to internal or cross-unit teams’ priorities and preferred working styles.
  • Demonstrates ability to understand and appropriately escalate needs of external partners.
  • Portrays an informed and professional demeanor toward internal and external partners and stakeholders.
  • Provides operational support on analyses and assessments that quantify and demonstrate WFP’s unique value as a partner.

Working Languages

  • Working knowledge of English (proficiency/level C) is required.
  • Intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or Portuguese is preferred, but not required.

Supervision (Level/Methods of Supervision):

Under the direct supervision of a Legal Officer, the incumbent will be provided with one-on-one technical supervision, skills development, and mentoring. Supervision will include performance planning and review, as well as learning and development discussions, as appropriate. A Senior Legal Officer will be the second-level supervisor. With the support of a comprehensive induction package and assignment of a supervisor, the intern will rapidly become a productive member of the team.

Training components:

Throughout their assignment WFP interns have access to an industry-leading learning platform, weLearn. Depending on opportunities and availability of funds, he/she may participate in WFP workshops or seminars, as appropriate.

Learning Elements:

At the end of the assignment, the Intern should have moved closer to mastering:

  • Legal analysis skills;
  • Legal drafting skills (expository, advocacy, and contract drafting); and
  • Inter-personal skills required for working in a dynamic legal office, dealing with in-house, and maneuvering in a large UN organization.

Information on the Country of Assignment: 

The security situation in Italy remains in line with other European Countries. There are no specific threats against the UN in Italy. Considering the ongoing defeat of Daesh in the war territories, the trend in the short and mid-term will most likely continue to see the return of the militants to the countries of origins, including Italy. Insurrectional anarchism remains sufficiently organized on the Italian territory, as it has been present for many years. This movement could target the UN in the context of its anti-capitalism/anti-western narrative. 2) Whilst UN staff continue to be victims of minor crime such as street robbery and apartment break-ins, the infrequency of attacks and random nature of locations do not indicate that UN staff are at an elevated risk in comparison to residents or tourists in Italy. 3) Italy’s national territory is exposed to a broader range of natural hazards than any other European country. The vulnerability of its population and built environment is often severe and has in some cases been exacerbated by human activities.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Interns receive a monthly stipend from WFP up to the maximum amount of US$1000 per month depending on the duty station of assignment.
  • WFP is not responsible for living expenses, arrangements for accommodation, necessary visas and related costs.
  • WFP will reimburse travel ticket for candidates who are nationals of developing countries and are pursuing their studies in their home country.
  • WFP will recognize candidates’ educational credentials from recognised institutions that have been certified by competent international or national authorities such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) or Ministries of Education.
  • Candidates who bear any of the following relations to WFP staff members are not eligible to apply: sons, daughters, brothers or sisters.


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