Legal Officer

World Food Programme, Italy

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
5th January, 2020

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.

Are you interested in providing legal advice to our Headquarters, Regional Bureaux, and Country Offices on all aspects of the employment relationship between WFP and its +16,000 employees? Are you ready to change and save the lives of the world's most vulnerable people? If yes, this opportunity is for you.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a Legal Officer at a P-3 level located in the Legal Office (LEG) of the World Food Programme’s Headquarters in Rome, Italy. You 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. You may, however, work on assignments in other areas of activity within LEG based on business needs and expressed personal interests.


Under the general supervision of senior Legal Officers, you 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:

  • Undertake extensive legal research and analysis on a wide range of complex legal issues of a substantive and procedural nature.
  • Review a variety of legal documents (including agreements, memoranda of understanding and contracts) in order to identify relevant legal issues and risks and to ensure compliance with the applicable legal framework and jurisprudence.
  • Deliver legal advice on the interpretation and application of various legal instruments (WFP’s internal Regulations, Rules, Policies and Procedures as well as applicable conventions, resolutions and agreements), in order to meet unique client needs.
  • Draft legal documents (including opinions, reports, memoranda, submissions, agreements and contracts) to contribute to coherence and quality of legal services.
  • Assist in representing WFP in administrative or tribunal proceedings and arbitration.
  • Participate in the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes involving WFP and its personnel.
  • Provide support to service various internal advisory bodies.
  • Contribute to building productive partnerships with other Legal Offices across the UN system.
  • Other related duties as required.



  • You have an advanced university degree in law or a university degree in law with relevant experience and advanced training in private, commercial or public law.
  • You are qualified to practice law or admitted to practice by a recognized national or state bar or law society, or have substantial experience of professional legal practice.

Professional Experience:

  • You have at least 5 years of progressively responsible experience practicing law within a law firm, an international organization, a governmental service or a company.
  • You have a track record of delivering, both orally and in writing sound legal analysis based on thorough legal research and proper conceptualization of legal issues.
  • You can develop a persuasive argumentation and legal strategy.
  • You are skilled to prepare timely documents in a clear, concise and logical manner.
  • Prior litigation experience and experience in an international context will be considered as a plus.


  • You are fluent in oral and written English (proficiency/Level C).
  • You have an intermediate knowledge (Level B) of another official WFP language i.e. Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.


  • You work effectively under pressure and within tight deadlines.
  • You have a client-oriented approach based on demonstrated problem-solving skills.
  • You work harmoniously within a team and with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • You have strong planning, organization and time-management skills.
  • You have solid communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills.
  • You have the adaptability and ability to work autonomously, with minimal guidance and supervision.
  • You work with tact and a high degree of discretion and confidentiality.


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