Legal Adviser (Two POSTS)
Comhairleoir Dlí (Dhá phost)

Ready to bring your expertise and play your part in the heart of politics in Northern Ireland?

Assembly colleagues in a meeting

Legal Advisers advise on legislation, procedural matters and committee work to assist political actors in achieving their goals. They represent the Assembly and Assembly Commission in proceedings before courts, tribunals and inquiries.

Legal Adviser (Two posts)
Comhairleoir Dlí (Dhá phost)

What we're looking for

The role of a Legal Adviser is that of in-house counsel. The successful applicant will:

  • Provide comprehensive, thoroughly-researched, sound and timely legal advice to the following clients:
    • the Speaker, on the legislative competence of legislation under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, public law issues in parliamentary procedure, and the interpretation of standing orders
    • Assembly committees, on legislative scrutiny, their statutory and other powers, parliamentary privilege, compliance with Standing Orders, public law issues in parliamentary procedure and the conduct of committee inquiries
    • the Assembly Commission in relation to any legal issue arising in connection with the discharge of its functions
    • Corporate clients at a senior level, on constitutional and other public law matters, contract and employment law, information law, public procurement and members’ expenditure
  • Provide legal advice to the Director and Head of Legal Services Office;
  • Deliver legal advice which supports Members in the development of legislative proposals.
  • Draft legal and statutory documents including standing orders, statutory rules and determinations, and contracts.
  • Conduct legal research including the use of electronic and other resources to provide authoritative advice on unfamiliar areas of law at short notice.
  • Personally represent individuals and committees in legal proceedings and inquiries, or manage external counsel and solicitors to provide such representation.
  • Conduct legal proceedings by or against the Assembly and the Assembly Commission, for example judicial review proceedings, civil claims and employment proceedings.
  • Maintain membership of the relevant professional body (the Bar of Northern Ireland or the Law Society of Northern Ireland), undertake sufficient and relevant training, and act in accordance with their professional code of conduct in the discharge of their duties.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with senior staff and political actors in the Assembly and colleagues in other legislatures.
  • Regularly participate in or lead teams to deliver legislation or corporate and organisational objectives.
  • Comply with all of the Assembly Commission’s staff policies and procedures including the Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies.
  • Manage information and records in accordance with established policies and statutory requirements.
  • Carry out other duties as the Assembly Commission reasonably requires of you.
What we're offering
Essential Criteria

At the closing date for applications, applicants must:

1. Hold a first or bachelor’s degree of minimum 2.2 classification (or equivalent);


2. be a barrister or solicitor who is entitled to practice in Northern Ireland;


3. have at least 3 years’ post-qualification experience (‘PQE’) in law to include evidence of the following:

(a) interpreting legislation and legal documents;

(b) demonstrating legal analytical ability and sound judgement in the resolution of complex legal problems; and

(c) communicating with clarity and confidence with clients.


4. be able to provide evidence within their application form of:

(a) a knowledge of constitutional, administrative and human rights law in Northern Ireland; and

(b) a knowledge of the role of the Assembly in the political and institutional relationships in Northern Ireland.

Quick Q&A for this job...​

The salary range is £58,963 – £60,751. This is an Assembly Grade 4 position. 

Legal Advisers work in the Legal Services Office, an integral part of the Legal, Governance and Research Services Directorate.  The function of the Legal Services Office is to provide specialised in-house legal advice and assistance to the Assembly, the Speaker, Assembly Committees, the Assembly Commission, the Clerk/Chief Executive and other key Secretariat clients. The Legal Services Office has a key role in ensuring and maintaining the lawful and effective discharge of the Assembly’s parliamentary and corporate functions.

The successful candidate will be accountable to the Head of Legal Services Office.

The successful applicant will be based in Parliament Buildings, Belfast.

Completed application forms must be submitted by 12 noon on Friday 27 August 2021.

The Selection Process

There are five elements within the Recruitment and Selection Framework:

Experience – the knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.

Abilitythe aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard. 

Technical – the demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications.

Assembly Skills and Behaviours –the actions and activities that people do which result in effective performance in a job.

Strengths – the things we do regularly, do well and that motivate us.

The elements which will be assessed for this role will be Experience, Technical, and Assembly Skills and Behaviours and the selection method(s) that will be used are detailed below. Further information on the Recruitment and Selection Framework are included in the Guidance on Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.

The essential criteria reflect the experience and knowledge that an applicant must possess in order to be able to undertake the role. An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the essential criteria section of the application form. You must therefore demonstrate clearly in your form how, and to what extent, you meet with the essential criteria for the post. 

The selection panel reserve the right to use shortlisting as part of the selection process for this post. Should shortlisting be used, the shortlisting criterion listed in the Job Specification will be applied. The selection panel reserve the right to set a minimum standard for the shortlisting criterion and/or to only invite those who score highest in the shortlisting criterion to the next stage of the selection process. If shortlisting is not necessary, all applicants who have demonstrated the essential criteria will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.  

The interview will address the information contained in the Job Specification and will assess elements of the Recruitment and Selection Framework.

Part of the interview process will be the delivery of a presentation. The subject of the presentation will be advised to the applicant on the day of the interview and the applicant will be expected to present information to the selection panel.

Further information on the Recruitment and Selection process is available in the Recruitment and Selection Framework and Guidance on the Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.

Legal Adviser (Two posts)
Comhairleoir Dlí (Dhá phost)

Below you will find everything you need to apply for the position.

Read all the information about the job and the associated guidance related to working in the Assembly:

You are now ready to complete the online application:

Please note the application form will be unavailable on Saturday 21st November between 00:00 – 09:00 due to maintenance on the system.

If you are unable to access the form during this time please try again later.

The deadline for applications expired at 12 noon on Friday 27 August 2021.

Further Information

If you require more information on the recruitment process, please contact the Human Resources Office on 02890 521466 or email

Visit our website for further information about the Assembly.

Good Luck

Please note the application form will be unavailable on Saturday 21st November between 00:00 – 09:00 due to maintenance on the system.

If you are unable to access the form during this time please try again later.