Counsel, Washington, United States At The World Bank

Closing date: Tuesday, 30 May 2023


Job #: req22685

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Legal

Grade: GF

Term Duration: 3 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Washington, DC,United States

Required Language(s): English (Required)

Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish, Arabic and/or Portuguese desirable

Closing Date: 5/31/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges.

The World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world’s largest sources of development assistance and global expertise for developing countries. WBG consists of five institutions that specialize in different aspects of development: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank: the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). For additional information, please visit

With twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, the WBG works in more than 100 developing economies to improve living standards and to fight poverty. For each of its clients, the WBG works with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to formulate assistance strategies. A network of offices worldwide delivers the programs in countries, liaises with governments and civil society, and works to increase understanding of development issues. The World Bank is owned by 189 member countries whose views and interests are represented by a Board of Governors and a Washington, DC-based Board of Directors. With more than 150 offices worldwide, the WBG works with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges.

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help our client countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data.

Legal Vice Presidency. In the context of the World Bank’s broad development agenda, the Legal Vice Presidency (LEG), under the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel (SVP-GC), is responsible for providing legal advice and support to internal and external Bank clients on operational, advisory, financial, administration, and institutional matters.

The Environmental and International Law Practice Group (LEGEN) provides support to internal and external Bank clients to promote environmentally and socially sustainable development, in accordance with Bank policies and relevant international laws. LEGEN’s work program includes providing legal advice and services to the Bank’s Regions, Global Practices, Climate Change Group and other Vice Presidencies, on the operational aspects of environmental and international law in Bank-financed projects, including those on environmental and social safeguards; climate change; knowledge creation and knowledge sharing; and development of policies and procedures relating to environmental and international law. Environmental topics include environment and natural resource issues such as climate change, biodiversity, pollution, international waters and water resource management, as well as social issues such as resettlement and indigenous peoples.

LEGEN invites qualified candidates to apply for a Counsel position based at HQ in Washington, D.C.

Selected candidates will work under the supervision of the Chief Counsel. The Counsel will be a lawyer who can operate independently to handle legal and policy issues related to the Bank’s work while working collaboratively with other lawyers within LEGEN and LEG as a whole.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The Counsel positions require demonstrated ability of rigorous analytical skills, to work harmoniously in a team, and to exercise good judgment. The level and quality of these skills will be a determining factor in the selection for the position, and references will be given consideration in this determination.

The Counsel would work under the supervision of the Chief Counsel, LEGEN and would as part of his/her duties: 1. Provide legal and policy advice and transactional legal support to the Bank’s climate agenda. The Counsel will assist in advising clients on legal and policy issues involved in the creation and implementation of Bank-administered carbon funds/climate facilities. The Counsel may also be called upon to draft and participate in the negotiation of emission reduction purchase agreements and related agreements for the acquisition of emission reductions for the various World Bank-administered funds. This will be done in the context of the Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 and the goals of the Paris Agreement.

2. Serve as Environmental, Social and Natural Resources Legal Advisor. In close collaboration with the Chief Counsel, LEGEN, the Senior Counsel will be responsible for contact with a wide range of staff and managers in the Sustainable Development Vice Presidency (SDVP), identifying legal advice and assistance that LEGEN can provide to clients. This work will include helping establish areas where the Bank can support capacity building and advising Bank programs that provide this support in Bank borrower countries.

3. As needed, act as LEG adviser regarding World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards/Standards. The Senior Counsel would, in close consultation with the Chief Counsel, Environmental and International Law, with Lead Counsel and other appropriate LEG staff, provide timely advice on the legal aspects of environmental and social safeguard policies, including providing technical guidance to Bank staff, and to act as a LEG resource in special-risk projects and issues of the development and interpretation of safeguard policies. The Senior Counsel will help ensure the development of a consistent and sound LEG position on significant issues relating to the application of safeguard policies and the new Environmental and Social Framework with a dedicated focus on labor and working conditions, the Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines and relevant international legal instruments. In special or high-risk projects, the Senior Counsel would be available to join the task team if so requested.

4. Work across a wide range of Bank units. The Counsel will work and interact frequently with: (i) Lawyers and managers in LEG VPU; (ii) Counterparts within Regional operational units, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency (SDVP) and Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS); (iii) Management and staff at HQ and in the field, as required.

5. Protect the World Bank’s interests and promote its goals and values.

6. Write and review policy papers, undertake legal research on topics in an area of concentration and contribute to dissemination of policy and best practices in a given field.

7. Prepare legal briefs on diverse topics, as required.

8. Work to advance the LEG VPU’s knowledge management agenda and use of technology; and

9. Perform ad hoc assignments as requested by the Chief Counsel or designated Lead Counsel.

Selection Criteria

* Law degree: JD or LLB and LLM (required) SJD or PhD (optional) and admission to the Bar (or equivalent) in at least one jurisdiction, with a minimum of 5 years of relevant experience required.

* Expertise in environmental and natural resources law and climate change policy.

* Legal operational and transactional experience.

* Ability to formulate policy positions and draft decisions about safeguard issues and defend them with clients, with peers or senior management.

* Ability to work collaboratively, to build trust among peers and colleagues, to respond quickly and consistently to key issues.

* Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives.

* High degree of persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus, especially on divisive legal issues.

* Language skills: Fluency in English, both written and oral, is required, with additional fluency in French, Spanish, Arabic and/or Portuguese highly desirable.


General Competencies Required

– Excellent legal research, writing, drafting, analytical and communications skills.

– Excellent interpersonal skills.

– Experience in international, commercial or contract law, in transactional legal work and the preparation and negotiation of legal agreements.

– Excellent legal drafting skills, including of agreements and legal memos.

– Familiarity in the use of varied legal research sources (including electronic sources on the internet) and other databases.

– Proven ability to operate effectively as a member of one or more teams; must be a self-starter and collaborate well with others; ability to exercise sound judgment in recognizing what issues to bring to the attention of the Chief Counsel and/or another supervising Lead Counsel, and which to handle autonomously.

– Proven ability to identify and help manage legal risk, through sound judgment, determining and escalating risk appropriately, providing risk-based advice, and guide more junior staff on the same.

– Proven ability to deal sensitively in multicultural and multi-ethnic environments and build effective working relationships with clients and colleagues.

– Ability to supervise and work with local counsel in a collaborative and collegial way.

– Ability to work under time pressure and to manage multiple tasks within tight deadlines.

– Ability and willingness to move to a field position in a World Bank country office within a few years of joining the World Bank based on business needs.

Other Competencies Required

. Legal Drafting, Research and Communication: Proven ability to draft transactional documentation (e.g., loan agreements or other financial agreements), briefings and a variety of legal instruments and related documents independently.Conducts research as necessary to acquire insight and information. Is aware of the need for precision and focus on quality.Uses a writing style that is clear and precise.

. Independence: Carries out work with due care, preparing accurate documents and reports, ensuring that pertinent facts are fairly presented without seeking to obfuscate (either through too much information or withholding relevant information).Interprets information in an objective manner, exercising professional skepticism when required.

. Professional Maturity: Understands others and the reasons for their behavior. Takes the time to clarifying others’ points of view so that progress can be made particularly in situations of stress or conflict. Proven ability to deal sensitively and effectively across organizational boundaries, as a team member, in multi-cultural environments and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues.Accepts and implements decisions made by management.

. Legal Reasoning: Breaks down problems into their component parts. Articulates the implications of situations in a step-by-step way. Remains objective when reviewing problems or situations to understand the issues. Makes sure to seek or possess all relevant facts.

. Recommends and takes decisive action: Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long-term implications of decisions.Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.

. Delivers Results for Clients: Contributes to delivery of results for clients on complex issues. Sets challenging goals that align with the WBG mission and is always looking to improve. Understands clients’ most pressing challenges and contributes to solutions. Takes personal responsibility for producing high quality work, identifying and informing of risks, and delivering results for clients.

. Collaborates within Teams and Across Boundaries: Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success. Shares information and frames thinking/actions with a corporate perspective in mind.

. Leads and Innovates: Brings new and different insights. Applies critical thinking to current approaches, identifies areas for improvement, and tries new solutions that drive results. Considers own behavior in context of WBG’s values and mission and recognizes impact one has on others. Operates in ambiguity and changing needs and supports others to do the same.

. Creates, Applies and Shares Knowledge: Actively contributes to and readily applies WBG’s body of knowledge for internal and/or external client solutions. Contributes to the department’s and WBG’s body of knowledge by applying lessons learned and expertise. Actively invests in own knowledge and seeks feedback. Builds personal and professional networks within and beyond the work group.

. Makes Smart Decisions: Leverages available data and makes timely decisions. Seeks and analyzes facts, data and lessons of past experience to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others’ work. Applies cost/benefit analysis to meet work program objectives. Contributes to decision making by providing relevant risk-analysis. Shows initiative when necessary and makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility.

. Values, Leadership Potential

– Demonstrated commitment to the World Bank Core Values for WBG and a proven track record of fostering a strong and healthy culture of diversity, inclusion, teamwork, honesty, trust, openness, integrity, and accountability.

– Demonstrated ability to be sensitive to issues around race, gender, ethnicity, inclusion, and intersectionality.

– Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and foster a positive working environment.

– Demonstrated commitment to the Bank’s mission, and ability to work towards WBG’s corporate targets for successful outcomes.

– A strong results-oriented mindset.

Employment Value Proposition

The World Bank Group (WBG) offers comprehensive benefits including a retirement plan; health (medical dental, pharmacy, vision), life and disability insurance; generous annual leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Please note that certain benefits may vary based on appointment type (Term or Extended-Term Consultant/Temporary; HQ or Country Office appointment). We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

The WBG aspires to remain competitive in all markets by providing compensation that attracts and retains top talent to deliver on the WBG mission of reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development.

WBG entry salaries are determined based on the grade, years of relevant experience and internal comparators. Consistent with our entry salary methodology, new hires are likely to be offered a salary between the minimum and midpoint of the salary scale for the advertised grade. In addition to the base-line salary, international staff posted to a field assignment receive generous field benefits and those at HQ receive expatriate benefits for five years, provided they are not US citizens or permanent residents. Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC , including our values and inspiring stories.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.