Legal Officer

World Food Programme, Rome, Italy

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th December, 2018

Job Description


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


This position is located in the Legal Office (LEG) of the World Food Programme’s Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The Legal Officer will be assigned to the Administrative and Employment Law Branch (LEGA), which provides legal services on all aspects of the employment relationship between WFP and its personnel.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

Under the general supervision and guidance of LEGA’s Senior Legal Officer, the P-4 Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties, with a focus on matters relating to the legal status, rights and obligations of WFP and its employees:

  • Serve as a lead officer and independently handle a wide range of multi-discipline and highly complex legal matters including interpretation and application of various legal instruments to ensure the provision of comprehensive legal services.
  • Contribute to determination of strategy and approach to legal matters involving WFP and its personnel, to ensure provision of solid recommendations and cohesive legal services.
  • Develop policies, guidelines, procedures and other documents to provide the organization with an appropriate regulatory framework.
  • Oversee or undertake extensive legal research and analysis, and review or prepare complex legal documents to enable the provision of comprehensive legal services.
  • Provide legal advice on diverse and complex procedural and substantive legal questions, and develop new legal modalities to meet unique client requirements.
  • Participate in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes involving WFP and its personnel, including through representation in administrative or tribunal proceedings and arbitration, to ensure WFP’s position is properly explained and defended.
  • Provide efficient legal services to various internal advisory bodies and represent WFP at external events to ensure the efficient exchange of technical discussions and protection of WFP’s interests.
  • Facilitate increased awareness of potential liability exposure and proactive minimization of risk to enable well-informed decisions.
  • Build productive partnerships with other Legal Offices across the UN system to ensure consistency in legal information and to complement WFP-provided legal services.
  • Supervise, coach and build capacity of other staff.
  • Other as required.



  • Advanced university degree in law or university degree in law with relevant experience and training.
  • Qualified to practice law or admitted to practice law by a recognized national or state bar or law society, or equivalent experience of professional legal practice.


  • At least 8 years (a minimum of 3 of which in an international context) of relevant progressively responsible experience practicing law within a law firm, an international organization, a governmental service or a private-sector entity.
  • Prior litigation experience in administrative or employment law is desirable.

Languages: Fluency (level C) in English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages)

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and independent decision-making skills
  • Demonstrated ability to draft complex legal documents that are clear, concise and adapted to context.
  • Strong business acumen and ability to think strategically.
  • Solid communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong time management and priorities management skills.
  • Practical knowledge of international administrative and employment law including the UN system regulatory framework and tribunal procedures is desirable.
  • Tact and high degree of discretion and confidentiality.


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