Org. Setting and Reporting
The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) is recruiting interns for the period from November 2020 to February 2021 for its six (6) divisions located in New York. We are seeking highly motivated graduate or undergraduate students who wish to gain professional experience in international law within an international organization in order to supplement their studies. This internship will include practical educational experience which provides the opportunity to work in a multicultural intergovernmental organization. Under the supervision of legal officers, interns will work on projects and tasks assigned by them, which may include assignments that are relevant to their educational background and interests. The interns will have an opportunity to apply and further develop their theoretical knowledge.
Responsibilities of internship positions range widely, encompassing many aspects of OLA's work. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
- Assisting in conducting legal research on issues related to international law and other areas of specialization using multiple research resources;
- Assisting in the review of legal documents, instruments or other material;
- Assisting in drafting and preparing official and legal documents;
- Attending and taking notes at conferences and meetings;
- Assisting in servicing conferences and meetings;
- Working on website and/or presentations.
Professionalism: Applicants must demonstrate a keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter of the United Nations. They must have an ability to work effectively in a team and in a multicultural environment, and to work collaboratively with colleagues and external counterparts. In addition, they must have good drafting and oral communication skills, and be computer literate in standard software applications.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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.
Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
The degree programme which applicants are enrolled in or have recently graduated from must be in Law. Applicants must demonstrate their intention to study further or to work in a field relevant to the work of OLA.
Applicants to the United Nations Internship Programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:
(a) Be enrolled in, or have completed, a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); or,
(b) Be enrolled in, or have completed, the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum bachelor's level or equivalent).
No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. For the internship advertised, proficiency in oral and written English is required, and knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another United Nations official language, i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish, is an advantage.
Due to the large number of applications, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the Division concerned. Interviews may be held with applicants.
- Please create and complete a Personal History Profile (PHP) and a cover letter in the UN e-Recruitment platform, Inspira at inspira.un.org. In your PHP, please indicate if you are proficient in the English language. PLEASE NOTE THAT INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.
- It is imperative that the cover letter includes the following details:
(1) Title of the degree currently being pursued and the specific subjects taken;
(2) Expected graduation date from the degree programme or graduation date if graduated within the past year;
(3) The applicant's objectives for undertaking an internship with the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) and how it fits within his/her education/career plan;
(4) Three (3) divisions of interest for internship from among the six Divisions in the Office of Legal Affairs located in New York (in order of preference) with #1 being the most preferred. The six divisions of OLA are: the Office of the Under-Secretary-General (OUSG), the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC), the General Legal Division (GLD), the Codification Division (COD), the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), and the Treaty Section (TS);
(5) An explanation why the applicant is suitable for the specific Division;
(6) The applicant's availability for the internship between November 2020 and February 2021.
- The duration of an internship in OLA is a minimum of two (2) months to a maximum of six (6) months depending upon the particular needs of the Division.
- Internships in OLA are not paid. Travel costs, travel arrangements (including visas), and living accommodations are the responsibility of the intern or their sponsoring institution.
** In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants will be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for the entirety of the internship.
- OLA interns are not eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, any position in the professional or above categories, within the UN Secretariat for a period of six (6) months following the end of their internship. Any employment with the UN at that point in time shall be subject to established recruitment and selection procedures.
- Internship positions are full-time. For more information about the United Nations internship Programme in general, please visit https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=IP&lang=en-US. For details on OLA's mandate and the specific functions of its divisions, please visit our internet site at: http://legal.un.org/ola/Default.aspx