With 14,000 employees working towards the shared goal of supporting national interests, British citizens and British businesses, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides the type of career-defining challenges that are quite unique. Our people are spread throughout the world, representing the UK in a diplomatic capacity. With a further remit to reduce conflict by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, while simultaneously building the UK’s prosperity, our responsibilities are varied and complex – providing the unique opportunity for forward-thinking, ambitious individuals to join us in our work.
The role of Assistant Legal Adviser
As a key member of the Legal Directorate team, you will play an essential part in the work of the FCO both nationally and internationally. Advising on all legal issues affecting the FCO’s work, you will apply your knowledge to questions of public international law, as well as domestic law. The specifics of your role will vary depending on which team you join, as we currently have a range of fascinating challenges across: National Security; Europe and Human Rights; Foreign Relations; International Institutions and Security Policy, and Overseas Territories and Maritime. With the expectation being that you will spend around three years in your allocated team before being offered the chance to join another role, this is a progressive opportunity to enhance your knowledge in a fast-paced environment. Regardless of which team you are in, you will also handle litigation challenges against the FCO in domestic or international courts.
What we are looking for
This is a broad and varied role, in which your tasks may vary from drafting legislation to representing the UK at bilateral and multinational meetings and negotiations. We will therefore expect you to be a qualified Barrister or Solicitor in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or Advocate or Solicitor in Scotland. You will also have experience or skills in public international law, European Union law, human rights law, public law or the law relating to the United Kingdom’s overseas territories. You will also need at least an Upper Second Class honours degree. The ability to make effective decisions keeping sight of the bigger picture is vital, as is being able to work in partnership with colleagues to deliver a quality service.
When you join the FCO, you can be sure of access to career-defining projects. Our people enjoy plenty of support from cross-departmental colleagues, while our culture of continuous improvement is enhanced by valuable training and development opportunities. And while a satisfying working day is essential, so too is a good work/life balance. As such, we offer flexibility wherever possible, with a competitive benefits package that includes 34 days of annual leave (inclusive of bank holidays) and the option to join our desirable civil service pension schemes – so your future will be taken care of too. Join us, and explore a career where your contribution will directly benefit the British public and businesses.