Terms of Reference: Legal Intern

Please note that interns need to be currently enrolled or recently completed a graduate
program and share UN Women’s values and competencies.

Unit Name Legal Support
Country and City of Intern PostNew York, New York, USA
Address of Building where Intern would work220 East 42nd St., New York, NY 10017
Start of InternshipFebruary 2019 and throughout the year at three month intervals
End of Internship Subject to start date Internship Duration (minimum 6 weeks, maximum 6 months) Minimum three months

Working Hours Full Time (40 hours per week) preferred

Remuneration Interns are not financially remunerated by UN Women.Costs and arrangementsfor travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of interns or their
sponsoring institutions.

Application process Email a CV and covering letter to intern.applications@unwomen.org. Include in the e-mail subject: Internship Application: Legal Intern
Selection process Short listed applicants will be asked to complete (i) a written test and (ii) an interview via skype 

UN Women accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of the intern or costs arising from injury, illness or death that may occur during an internship. Applicants for internship
must show proof of valid medical insurance coverage to cover the full period of the internship at the duty station.

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. 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. The intern will support the Legal team and specifically the Legal Adviser by undertaking legal analysis and research and giving input into the preparation of legal advice to UN Women management, HQ units, regional, multi-country and country offices, including on matters relating to the UN Staff Regulations and Rules, the UN Women Financial Regulations and Rules, UN Women’s resource mobilization and procurement activities, accountability mechanisms, the system of administration of justice, privileges and immunities, and internal operations, policies and procedures. A work plan with achievements for the duration of the internship and learning opportunities will be agreed upon.

Tasks and responsibilities

The primary responsibility of the intern will be to assist in projects aimed at strengthening and streamlining UN Women’s legal arrangements and the establishment of an institutional body of knowledge regarding corporate and operational practices as well as assisting in relation to adhoc legal issues as required which may including the following:

  • Support the Legal Adviser by undertaking legal analysis and research and assisting in the preparation of legal advice relating to UN Staff Regulations and Rules, including:
    • The application and interpretation of the Staff Regulations and Rules;
    • Disciplinary matters, rights and obligations of staff, legal status of staff and their
    • dependents, financial recovery, taxation and insurance issues;
    • Internal and external investigations into the use of UN Women financial and human resources;
    • Recovery for losses to UN Women;
    • Other relevant aspects of human resources management.
  • Support the Legal Adviser by undertaking legal analysis and inputs in relation to issues arising under the Administration of Justice system;
  • Provide technical inputs to 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.
  • Support the Legal Adviser by undertaking legal analysis and research and assisting in the preparation of legal advice relating to UN Women’s relationships with member states and issues of privileges and immunities, including: Identify and resolve issues of privileges and immunities of UN Women, its officials and experts on mission, in consultation with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (UN/OLA);
  • Provide input into the preparation, review and negotiation of 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, in consultation with UN/OLA;
  • Address 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.
  • Support the Legal Adviser by assisting in the review, negotiating and drafting of UN Women’s agreements arising out of its resource mobilization and procurement activities:
  • Prepare, review and negotiate UN Women donor and partner agreements, and prepare standard forms of contracts for use by UN Women;
  • Prepare, review and negotiate commercial agreements and contracts for UN Women, and prepare standard forms of contracts for use by UN Women;
  • Review, negotiate and settle claims and disputes arising from agreements, contracts and other arrangements, including commercial claims and disputes involving the Organization.
  • Support the Legal Adviser by performing research and analysis and providing input into issues arising out of UN Women’s policy and operational framework: Draft and interpret policies and procedures governing the operations of UN Women;
  • Identify systemic or policy changes which may be warranted in order to strengthen UN Women’s accountability and/or allow operational units to carry out their functions moreeffectively and efficiently, including continual review and updating of standard agreements, texts, policies and procedures, in consultation with the concerned substantive units.
  • Under the overall supervision of Legal Adviser, contribute to knowledge building and sharing in UN Women:
  • Enhance knowledge within UN Women about legal matters through participating in and preparing training programmes;
  • Develop and maintain the Legal Support intranet site.

Qualifications and Experience

  • First level university degree, either in law or in another subject.
  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) or have graduated from a graduate school programme and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English; working knowledge of other UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) are welcome.
  • Ability to think and work logically and work precisely with attention to detail.
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Initiative, sound judgment and demonstrated ability to work harmoniously with staff members of different national and cultural backgrounds.

Learning Elements

  • Increased understanding of UN Women’s work and the UN system
  • Learning different aspects of legal issues arising in an international environment
  • Meeting and networking with UN Women colleagues in other units
  • Work as a team member in a multicultural setting