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ACWL Vacancy for the position of Paralegal


The Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) is seeking to fill a vacancy for a paralegal position. The ACWL is an international organization, which was established in 2001 as independent from the World Trade Organization (WTO). Its functions are to provide legal advice on WTO law, support in WTO dispute settlement proceedings and training in WTO law to developing countries Members and least-developed countries.

Title: Paralegal

Grade: 5 (based on WTO salary scale)

Contract type: Fixed-term, initially for one year, subject to renewal(s), with the possibility of conversion to a regular contract in accordance with the ACWL’s staff rules and regulations.

Starting salary: Negotiable, approximately CHF70,667 net per annum, depending on qualifications and experience.

General Functions:

The main role of the Paralegal is to assist the ACWL’s lawyers in preparing submissions in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, maintaining case files, drafting legal opinions, assembling materials for training activities, and carrying out other duties as may be required. Under the supervision of more senior staff, the incumbent will:

  1. Assist in the preparation of WTO dispute settlement documents, including by verifying quotations, legal references and footnote citations, ensuring that submissions conform to established WTO editorial style guidelines; compiling and organizing information in various formats, including spreadsheets, charts, and tables; drafting summaries of facts; and preparing standard correspondence;
  2. Organize and maintain working case files in disputes; prepare organizational chart for disputes indicating relevant deadlines;
  3. Conduct research and organize relevant materials for legal opinions and training activities, proof-read legal opinions and PowerPoint presentations for training sessions;
  4. Conduct basic research using a variety of resources, including online research tools.

Please note that this position is not to be considered as a junior lawyer position.

Required qualifications:


Certification in paralegal or related studies/a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

Work Experience:

At least three years’ relevant experience, including experience working as a paralegal, registrar, or functional equivalent, managing information (preferably legal information), working with and editing legal documents. Involvement in litigation activities in a paralegal capacity in a law firm, government or corporate legal office, or national or international judicial institution or quasi-judicial agency would be an asset.

Knowledge and Skills:

Technical knowledge and skills:

  1. Excellent knowledge of standard MS Office applications (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel) as well as of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other interactive platforms;
  2. Ability to understand complex factual information and to summarise voluminous information; ability to compile and present facts and data in usable formats;
  3. Very good English drafting and editing skills; ability to draft routine documents in English following established precedents and guidelines; and,
  4. General knowledge of the WTO and basic knowledge of WTO dispute settlement procedures are advantages.

Behavioural skills:

  1. Excellent organizational skills and ability to pay close attention to detail, ability to manage time efficiently and prioritize and manage multiple assignments subject to strict deadlines; ability to exercise initiative and good judgement within established guidelines, ability to assist different teams working on different disputes/legal opinions simultaneously;
  2. Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to relate to and build relationships with a diverse team of colleagues; and,
  3. Ability to communicate and to work as a member of a team, while working independently to achieve outcomes.


Excellent English, including very good drafting skills. Ability to work in Spanish and/or French are distinct advantages.


Please complete the Personal History Form and return to by 15 March 2021, together with a cover letter and resumé.

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