Position: Legal Officer P4, United Nations Environment Programme (Deadline: Nov. 5, 2017, Nairobi, Kenya)

This opening for a lawyer at the UNEP in Nairobi is a rare opportunity.


Posting Title:
Job Code Title:
Department/ Office:
United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station:
Posting Period:
22 September 2017-5 November 2017
Job Opening number:
Staffing Exercise ID:
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Email to a Friend

Special Notice

Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 January 2017, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Vietnam.

The United Nations is Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received.. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UN Environment’s Law Division is the lead Division charged with carrying out the functions of UN Environment in the field of environmental law, governance and related policy issues, including those related to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). To fulfill its mandate, the Division’s work focuses on: leading the international community in the progressive development of environmental law; supporting States in the development and implementation of legal, institutional and policy measures that address emerging and important environmental challenges; facilitating cooperation and coordination among MEAs and between UNEP and those agreements; working with MEA Secretariats to support Parties to the respective MEAs in implementing their treaty obligations; and facilitating policy dialogue among States on issues relating to international environmental law and governance. This position is located in the Law Division of the UN Environment Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Under the supervision of the Head, National Environmental Law Unit, the incumbent is responsible for:


1. Develop legal frameworks and regulatory mechanisms relating to key environmental priorities, including on UN Environment’s climate change sub-programme:
•Collaborate with relevant multilateral agencies responsible for the development of environmental law, including those on climate change and energy, to ensure compliance.
• Develop in collaboration with other UN Environment Divisions and other partners’ normative tools and methodologies.

2. Programme development:
•Identify, assess and monitor relevant priorities, trends, developments and policies relating to environmental law and governance, including those relating to climate change.
•Provide advice to the Division in the form of legal and policy options, briefs and reports on emerging issues.

3. Liaise with UN Environment’s stakeholders and the countries to support global and regional inter-governmental environmental processes, including those on climate change:
•Enhance expertise of national stakeholders in environmental law and governance, including on climate change and energy, and on compliance through capacity building, networking and training;
•Monitor on-going and emerging international processes, identifying potential areas for UN Environment’s strategic interventions and catalyze UN Environment-wide response and actions.

4. Facilitate a series of high-level meetings/fora on the nexus between science and environmental policy, including climate science and climate policy with emphasis on latest findings and negotiations:
•Guide national negotiators in effective participation in international negotiation processes on environmental issues, including climate change and energy;
•Analyze emerging issues related to negotiations on environmental matters, including on climate change and energy and prepare position and policy papers on UN Environment’s approach to specific or emerging issues in the field.

5. Represent UN Environment in policy-making and substantive inter-agency meetings:
•Provide guidance and coordinate the scientific, technical and administrative actions;
•Generate and disseminate reliable information on environmental law and approaches, including on climate change and energy;
•Exchange professional experience with the scientific community, societies and organizations;
•Identify and develop new portfolio of climate change and energy law concepts and project proposals;
•Provide substantive guidance to Governments to help integrate environmental law, including climate and energy law project proposals at the national and international level;
•Advise Governments on emerging issues to enable them identify their needs and requirements.

Perform other related duties as required.


•Professionalism: Knowledge of environmental law and governance, both substantive and procedural. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of the UN system, organization and interrelationships. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•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 on-going 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.


An advanced university degree (Masters degree or equivalent) in environmental law or related area. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in environmental law and governance, including legal analysis, research and writing. Experience in technical assistance in the development and strengthening of national environmental law and strengthening capacity to implement, comply with and enforce environmental laws and multilateral environmental agreements is highly desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of other United Nations official language is an asset.


Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


In my Garden: A Confused Tree

Some of my friends know that I am an avid gardener. Over the past several years, I have been transforming both my front and backyard into something more of an mini-orchard/farm.  The farmer in me enjoys the connection to the land, the work that is part of producing food, and the idea of self-sufficiency.  But it’s definitely still a work-in-progress.  My front yard is now a mini-orchard, with the lawn that used to grace it now gone and replaced with wood chips.  (Some of my neighbors probably see it as as something of an eyesore; but I feel good about getting rid of the front lawn, which was purely ornamental and served no useful function (at least not to me) .)

This morning, as I was inspecting my fruit trees  (in my suburban version of “walking the land,” something I used to do when we still lived in Vermont and had 2 acres of land for our house),  I noticed this on one of my Asian Pear  tree.

It appears to be a set of blossoms.  In late September!  After I just harvested a nice crop of pears just a month ago! Obviously, the tree is confused.

Ordinarily, fruit trees require some period (several months) of chill time before they will bloom and fruit again.  However, we’ve had a rather hot summer.   It is rather mysterious.  In June, something similar happened to my blueberry bushes.  One of them also set some blossoms, well after I had already picked all of the ripe berries.  Those few additional berries just ripened recently.  I had attributed that to a late bloom.  But the blooms on the pear tree are a real anomaly.  Very peculiar indeed.

Position: Entry-Level Teaching Position, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (Deadline: unknown, Denver, CO)

Entry-Level Teaching Positions
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law seeks applications from entry-level and junior-lateral candidates for one or more full-time, tenure-track faculty positions at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor of Law to begin in August 2018. We seek candidates with J.D. or Ph.D. degrees (or their equivalent), exceptional academic records, relevant professional experience, and the capacity to make outstanding contributions in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service. Although we welcome candidates across all subject matter areas and methodological perspectives, we anticipate particular interest in the following fields: environmental and natural resources law, including both doctrinal and clinical teaching; evidence; healthcare law; professional responsibility; and regulatory compliance. Currently celebrating its 125th anniversary year, Denver Law (www.law.du.edu) is a leader in experiential and interdisciplinary legal education, and is located in one of the nation’s most dynamic, iconic, and livable cities. Interested persons should send a cover letter, resume (including at least three references), teaching statement, and research agenda to Professor Alan Chen, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee (achen@law.du.edu). The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from members of historically underrepresented minority groups, women, members of the LGBTQ community, persons with disabilities, and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Santa Clara Law Environmental Law Society Beach Cleanup 2017


The 2017 Santa Clara Law Environmental Law Society Beach Clean-up Activity was another success!  I joined about 15 students and friends on Saturday morning at Natural

Bridges State Beach for several hours of beachcombing for trash.  We were not the only folks out there; there were groups of boy scouts, individual families, and other community groups.  (From the matching T-shirts, it looked liked the local Sony Company office had a group there as well.)  While the morning was overcast, it was a actually quite a beautiful place.  My small group (Laura, Cynthia, Ayla, and Robin) came up with about 20 pounds of trash, including many small items like cigarette butts and food wrappers to some water and beer bottles.  (The photo of somebody in the brush is of me going after some plastic plates that had been thrown deep into the bushes.  Boooooh, not cool. . . ) Quite amazing how things add up.  Another small group came up with more than 40 pounds of trash.

IMG_6419Beyond the typical trash, here were some other items of interest:  an improvised bong (yes, you read that  correctly), lots of shoes, a gasoline can, a propane torch, and an orange traffic cone (not near the road, but deep inside the bushes).  Sadly, we also came across a dead sea-otter.  A rather large animal.  All we could was to report it to the state park official onsite.

All in all, it was a great occasion of community service.  Hooray for the Santa Clara Law Environmental Law Society and all the other folks across the state that pitched in for this year’s coastal clean-up!

Update – 6 Haikus in honor of the SCU Environmental Law Society Beach Clean-up.



Position: Tenure-track faculty opening, University of Tulsa College of Law (Deadline: unknown, Tulsa, OK)

THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA COLLEGE OF LAW invites applications from both entry level and experienced faculty for possible tenure-track faculty positions beginning in the 2018- 2019 academic year. We seek candidates with superior academic records whose performance to date has demonstrated excellence in scholarship and teaching or a strong potential to excel as scholars and teachers. The areas of interest may include, but are not necessarily limited to, cyber law, cyber security, energy, natural resources, social justice, human rights, health law, constitutional law, civil procedure, property, and other first year and required courses. The University of Tulsa College of Law, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, is committed to equality of opportunity in its employment of faculty and staff, without discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
Members of under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. If you would like to learn more about the College generally, you may visit our website at http://www.law.utulsa.edu. Please submit letters of interest and résumés to Prof. Robert Spoo, Chair, Appointments Committee, University of Tulsa College of Law, 3120 E. 4th Place, Tulsa, OK 74104, or by email to robertspoo@utulsa.edu.

Reminder: Regarding Job Openings, Internships, Fellowships, and Other Environmental Law Related Opportunities

I regularly post such items when they come across my email or I become aware of them otherwise.  A lot of what I post is related to non-profit, academic, or the government sector (including international organizations).  These items are usually sorted below the blog entries that I write about substantive issues and thus come further down on the front page.  The easier way to view these opportunities postings is to click on the “Jobs and Other Opportunities” link at the top of the blog page.

Position: Tenure-track faculty position, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (deadline: unknown, Columbus, OH)

Note that natural resources is a secondary area of interest for this search.


The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law seeks applications from entry-level candidates for at least one tenure-track position, to begin in the 2018-2019 academic year. Our primary areas of need are Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, Legal Writing, and Race and the Law. Secondary areas of need are Alternative Dispute Resolution, Antitrust, Banking and Insurance Law, Business Law (including Business Associations and Securities Regulation), Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Employment and Labor Law, Evidence, Law and Technology, Natural Resources (e.g., water, wildlife, energy, oil and gas, mining, land use), Poverty/Social Welfare Law, Professional Responsibility, Torts, and Wills & Trusts. A J.D. (or the equivalent) is required. Interested candidates should send resumes and a cover letter to Professor Daniel Tokaji, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, tokaji.1@osu.edu.

Position: Tenure-track faculty position, Louisiana State University Law Center (deadline: unknown, Baton Rouge, LA)

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, PAUL M. HEBERT LAW CENTER seeks to hire three (3) tenure-track or tenured faculty members.  Areas of particular interest to us include the following: business & transactional law; civil procedure; criminal law & procedure; environmental law; energy law; ethics and professionalism; evidence; family law; and juvenile justice clinical teaching. We may consider applications who specialize in areas other than those listed. We also seek applications for the position of Director of the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center.

Applicants should have superior academic credentials and publications or promise of productivity in legal scholarship.  Contact:  Melissa T. Lonegrass, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee, c/o Pam Hancock, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, 1 East Campus Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-0106.  The Paul M. Hebert Law Center of LSU is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer and is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and encourages applications from female and minority candidates.

Pam Hancock – Pamela A Hancock <phancock@lsu.edu>

Position: Assistant/Associate Professor of Law, University of Oregon Law School (Deadline: Sept 1, 2017, position open until filled, Eugene, OR)


The University of Oregon School of Law invites applications for an assistant or associate professor (with tenure) in Land Use/Transportation/Green Development Law, to begin in August 2018. Preference will be given to applicants with scholarship, teaching, or practice expertise in land use law, transportation law, green development law, and related fields.