Advert View :: Legal Advisor (Paralegal) - Open FIRST to Internal employees and then to External applicants | Nairobi | Legal

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Job Title

Legal Advisor (Paralegal) - Open FIRST to Internal employees and then to External applicants




Advert Details

Recruiter: USAID Kenya Updated on: 2018-08-17 02:10:02
Contract Permanent
Location: Nairobi Available: Immediately
Category: Legal Offer: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 09 (Step 1 2,426,261 KSH to Step 13 4,124,645 KSH per annum).



The Paralegal will serve as a member of the Office of the USAID/Kenya and East Africa, Resident Legal Office (RLO), which includes three U.S. Direct-Hire Foreign Service lawyers based in Nairobi. The RLO provides legal advice and counsel to the entire mission, which serves Kenya, Somalia, and regional programs throughout East Africa.

Minimum Requirements

Any application that does not meet the minimum requirements stated below will not be evaluated. Only short listed applicants will be contacted. If you have not been contacted within one month from the closing date of this advertisement, please consider your application unsuccessful.


A. Education: Completion of an additional two years of post-secondary study in law or other relevant field.  (e.g. international relations, development, and public administration) from an accredited or recognized college, university or institution of higher education is required. 

B. Prior Work Experience:  Five years of professional experience working in a law office, corporation, government agency or other entity whose work entails knowledge, analysis and application of laws and/or regulations to complex or diverse situations.

C. Post Entry Training:  On the job training and other training as appropriate. Training may include courses in Appropriations Law, Introduction to Program Cycle (IPC), US Government Ethics, and U.S. Government Procurement.

D. Language Proficiency:  Level IV (fluent) in spoken and written English is required.

E. Job Knowledge:  Proficiency in using all applications of Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs and information technology-based research tools. Knowledge of the Kenya legal system, courts, and legislative process. Knowledge of the structure and authorities of Kenyan government entities, from federal down to county and municipal levels.  Knowledge of Kenya law in regard to banking, endowments and trusts.  Knowledge of the customs duties and taxation systems in Kenya.

F. Skills and Abilities:  The paralegal must be detail and action­ oriented, self-motivated, and a problem solver capable of making informed decisions. S/he must be able to work effectively and efficiently in a fast-paced legal office which operates under constant time constraints. S/he must be able to accurately follow instructions, properly prioritize work, work independently with only basic guidance, and possess excellent time management skills, including the ability to consistently meet deadlines. S/he must have excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to draft, review.



Applicants must submit a cover letter of no more than one letter-size page, which describes how their relevant professional experience and education has prepared them to meet the specific challenges of the duties and responsibilities described above.  As part of the interview process, those applicants ranked highest may be required to submit a timed writing sample on a topic provided.  The selection committee may conduct reference checks at any time during the selection process.

Applications that do not meet the required minimum qualifications will not be scored.  

- Prior work experience (50 points) 

- Job Knowledge (20 points)

- Skills and abilities (30 points)

Total possible points:  100

Candidates meeting the above required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application and reference checks.   References will be asked to assess the applicant’s technical knowledge, work performance, communication skills, and group dynamics, using the above criteria.   USAID reserves the right to conduct interviews with the top ranked short-listed applicants.  The interview will be one of the determining factors in the final selection.


Job Specification


2. ISSUANCE DATE: August 3, 2018

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: August 16, 2018 (4:30 PM East Africa Time)

4. POSITION TITLE: Legal Advisor (Paralegal)

5. MARKET VALUE:  Equivalent to FSN-PSC 09 (Step 1 2,426,261 KSH to Step 13 4,124,645 KSH per annum).  In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of USAID/Kenya and East Africa. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:  Initial 1 year probationary period with renewable contract(s) contingent on performance, position need, and funds availability.

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya; with possible travel as stated in the Statement of Work.

8. SECURITY CERTIFICATION REQUIRED: Prior to joining USAID, the selected candidate will be required to:

• Undergo a comprehensive background investigation and;

• Obtain and Retain an embassy issued Security Certification.


10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open FIRST to Internal employees of the U.S. Mission and then to External Applicants, however, internal employees currently on probation are ineligible to apply. USAID provides equal opportunity and equitable treatment for employment of all people without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, disability status, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic for equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The position requirements do not involve rigorous physical demands.



The Paralegal will serve as a member of the Office of the USAID/Kenya and East Africa, Resident Legal Office (RLO), which includes three U.S. Direct-Hire Foreign Service lawyers based in Nairobi. The RLO provides legal advice and counsel to the entire mission, which serves Kenya, Somalia, and regional programs throughout East Africa. The Paralegal will be formally supervised by the Senior Resident Legal Officer but also will take direction and assignments from the other Resident Legal Officers. The Paralegal is expected to exercise a high degree of intellectual problem solving skills to perform unique legal and factual research and analytical tasks for the RLOs. These include locating difficult-to-find U.S., USAID, and Kenya legal materials; performing research in non-traditional sources to identify facts on which RLOs can base their legal opinions; and careful analysis and interpretation of complex and ambiguous written materials.  The position requires a high degree of knowledge, intellectual skill, judgment, writing skills and the ability to work independently with only minimal supervision. The position also requires knowledge of project budgeting, USAID programming, and how the Mission and Agency function.



A. Paralegal Work 90%

1. Performs legal research and analysis.

a)  Identify, analyze and summarize U.S. legal materials, such as U.S. statutes, regulations, court decisions    (U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts), with general direction from RLOs.

b)  Identify, analyze and summarize Kenya law sources, such as the Constitution, privacy laws, labor law, tax provisions and methods, and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registration provisions.

c)  Identify, analyze and summarize factual material for RLO projects.

d)  Identify, analyze and summarize internal USAID legal and policy materials, such as applicable Automated Directive Systems (ADS) provisions.                                                                                               

e)  The above legal research, performed at the direction of RLOs and under the supervision of the Senior RLO, will often be conducted via the internet. 

f)  "Cite check" - verify the accuracy of legal citations.  (This task is often performed by first year lawyers in Wall Street law firms.)

2. Review, proof and substantively edit a wide variety of documents for legal and agency sufficiency, including most documents submitted to RLO for clearance by other Mission offices, for final review by an RLO.  

a) Perform preliminary review of grants proposed by the Embassy-managed Democracy and Human Right Fund (DHRF) program.

b) Review documentation designed to clear audit recommendations by USAID Inspector General or Government Accounting Office. 

3. Serve as legal knowledge management specialist.

a)  Establish and maintain the RLO's physical and electronic law library.  Procure legal materials as directed by RLOs; locate and maintain library space; monitor check-out status of law library materials; monitor for availability of updates.

b)  Maintain and update legal reference materials for individual RLOs. Monitor ADS and other sources for issuance of updates, and ensure inclusion of updates in RLOs' individual reference materials.

c)  Maintain a confidential office file of RLO ethics opinions. An especially high degree of discretion and confidentiality is required for this task.

d)  Provide legal materials produced by RLOs to the General Counsel (GC) legal opinion repository, such as by uploading to the GC Knowledge Management site.

4. Manage Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Process for the Mission.

a) Ensure that relevant offices receive FOIA requests and are apprised of deadlines.  Monitor to ensure that FOIA deadlines are adhered to or extensions requested.

b)  Manage the production of responsive documents and proposed redactions and make recommendations to RLOs for their final consideration.

c)  Ensure that FOIA response documents are transmitted to USAID/Washington D.C. FOIA office on a timely basis.

d)  Maintain log of FOIA requests, their status, and responses. 

5.  Supports litigation and dispute resolution matters.

a)  Be thoroughly familiar with Mission procedures for receipt and/or rejection of service of legal process on Mission employees.  Be prepared to act as one of the few mission employees able to appropriately respond if an attempt is made to serve legal process and no RLO is available.

b)  Periodically verify that instructions for response to service of process are maintained and readily available at reception desk, guard desk, Executive Office (EXO), mail room, and Front Office desk, particularly when there are new employees.

c)  Assist in liaising with outside legal counsel, as requested by RLOs.   

6. General Paralegal Duties

a) Advise Foreign Service National (FSN) employees on outside activities and assist in preparing request to Ambassador.

b) Advise Mission staff on Mission Orders and Delegations of Authority.

  c)  Provide preliminary legal assessments on various matters, including recommendations for material policy changes.

d)  Provide training in RLO developed training courses such as annual Ethics Training required for all staff.

e) Develop and manage templates for action memos and other documents that are frequently submitted to RLO for clearance in order to increase efficiency in the approval process.

f)  Provide initial review of pre-obligation and activity checklists, grant approval memos and other legal documents, as requested by RLOs.

g) Represent the RLO Office at a broad variety of meetings, including weekly staff meetings of technical offices and program office, annual Portfolio Review meetings, and the weekly senior staff meetings in the absence of an RLO.

h) Prepare the RLO Office’s risk assessment of internal controls for input to the Mission response under the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act, performed annually.

i)  Manage the RLO Office Purchase Order for hiring an outside Kenyan law firm ( for legal advice on local law), including  usage, payments, expiration date and renewal when needed.

B.  Administrative Management Duties                                                          10%  

Assist in designing, organizing and delivering RLO-led training and information sharing initiatives, including Ethics, and Standards of Conduct annual training.  Determine and recommend to Sr. RLO what documents should be entered into the General Counsel’s electronic Knowledge Management System (KOSMOS) and accomplish same.  Organize RLO meetings and participate in said meetings, as needed. Provide support to RLO on RLO communications, public relations and liaison with technical and other support offices at USAID/KEA. 



A.  Supervision Received:  The Paralegal will receive direct supervision from the Senior RLO, however, all RLOs will provide assignments.  The incumbent is expected to complete responsibilities independently and demonstrate initiative and judgment in working independently with only basic guidance from the RLOs.

B. Supervision Exercised: None.  

C. Available Guidelines:  USAID ADS, U.S. Appropriations Act, the Foreign Assistance Act, Foreign Affairs Manual, USAID Mission Orders, USAID policy directives, 

D. Exercise of Judgment: The position requires judgment in reviewing and making recommendations on work documents submitted to the RLO office for clearance/approval. Must be able to prioritize tasks and schedule priorities to ensure due dates are met.  Must understand the relative importance of assigned projects and consistently meet expectations.  Assert initiative to assure follow-up and coordination.  Provide useful feedback to RLOs on a regular basis.  Resolve conflicts using tact and diplomacy.  Exercise intellectual judgment in research and legal analysis.  Judgment and discretion are especially required due to ethics, confidentiality and privacy matters handled by the legal office.  The legal office handles many sensitive matters concerning which the incumbent must exercise good judgment.

E. Authority to Make Commitments: No authority to make financial commitments on behalf of the USG.  But will use available guidelines, policies, procedures and other directives to resolve various requests quickly and independently.  Take the initiative to research problems and find innovative solutions.

F. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: Internal: RLO Office Staff and all USAID staff (American, FSN, TCN) at all levels , in Kenya, East Africa or Somalia teams, to discuss questions or advise on various legal/policy requirements and in review of documents for clearance.  Also, staff of other USG agencies, particularly staff at the U.S. Embassy.  External: Members of the Kenyan legal profession, Implementing Partners, RIGOs, NGOs, mid-level or local Government of Kenya officials, for purposes of problem-solving, conveying USAID positions/policies and to maintain advantageous relationships.

G. Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year.


V. How to Apply

Step 1: Register in MyJobsInKenya at

Step 2: Complete the job application questionnaire at The applicant must answer all the questions in the Questionnaire. 

Step 3: Internal Applicants/Current USG Employees: Attach a cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) including a minimum of 3 references with contact information, a copy of your most recent Performance Evaluation Report, and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya.




External Applicants/Not Current USG Employees: Attach a cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) including a minimum of 3 references with contact information, and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya . 


Note to Applicants:

1. Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I and submitted through as stated in Section VII.

2. To ensure consideration of applications for the intended position, applicants must prominently reference the Solicitation number in their cover letter submission.

3. Submissions will only be accepted through Late and Incomplete applications (those that do not contain a cover letter, the applicant’s most current and up to date detailed CV, relevant education certificates and three (3) to five (5) references with contact information) will not be considered for the position. The closing date for receipt of applications is indicated above.


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