Oxford Law & Policy Fellowship at Oxford Policy Management

What is it?

The Oxford Law and Policy Fellowship is a pioneering initiative launched by leading international development consultancy, Oxford Policy Management (OPM).  The Fellowship gives legal professionals the opportunity to work within a low-income country government as a civil servant reporting to local managers.

Run in conjunction with the Law & Development Partnership, the Fellowship aims to improve policy outcomes for poorer countries by providing governments with a source of international legal expertise and knowledge.  Host governments design the Terms of Reference for each two-year posting, thereby tailoring this unique form of specialist technical assistance to the local context and to each ministry’s specific needs.

Why get involved?

  • Be a trailblazer: The Oxford Law and Policy Fellowship gives you a unique opportunity to be part of a flagship law, policy and development programme at its launch phase.
  • Springboard to your career: Whether you’re looking for your next challenge or planning a move into a career in international development, becoming an Oxford Law and Policy Fellow gives you a unique opportunity to apply your legal knowledge within an international development context. It opens the door to a career with a range of international agencies, NGOs, development consultancies and other public and private sector organisations.
  • Having an impact: Because the demand for Oxford Law and Policy Fellows is led by host governments – rather than being imposed by an outside agency – your role is tailored to the host government’s specific need and context, meaning you are more likely to make a real impact.
  • A unique setting: The Fellowship gives you the chance to work within the heart of the public sector – as a government employee, you’ll be liaising directly with officials at all levels and gaining first-hand insights into policy-making systems and processes that few other placements offer.

What we’re looking for

The Fellowship is open to applicants of all nationalities with an undergraduate or graduate qualification in law, or otherwise a qualified lawyer.  Applicants should have excellent academic qualifications and have completed their traineeship and/or have at least 2 years’ of relevant work experience.  Ideal applicants will also have a Master’s degree in international development, political science, international relations or a related field.  Other important attributes we look for include:

  • Commitment to working in a low-income country for a two-year period;
  • Excellent analytical, research and computer skills;
  • Well-developed written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate courteously and effectively with a wide range of people;
  • Demonstrated interest in and understanding of key issues in international development;
  • Ability to communicate complex legal doctrines, contracts or policies to non-legal (or Common Law) specialists;
  • Willingness to integrate into, and adapt to, often challenging working cultures and bureaucratic systems.

Posting Description

The pilot of the Fellowship programme will consist of three to seven posts.  Recruitment for each posting is driven by specific demand articulated by host Governments, which provide specific Terms of Reference for each Fellow.  The below posting description reflects a variety of requests received from different host Government ministries.


Fellows will be asked to perform a variety of tasks while in their post, some technical, some administrative.  Examples of the types of work expected of the Fellow include:

  • Coordinating and supporting various specialist consultants that may be providing advice to the Ministry;
  • Analysing complex contracts;
  • Contributing to procurement processes and contract management;
  • Drafting contracts, memoranda of understanding and regulations;
  • Providing inputs to drafting Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy;
  • Conducting legal research and analysis of current PPP legal frameworks, particularly for infrastructure projects;
  • Facilitating capacity building in areas requested by the Ministry: from providing training on the Common Law system to seminars on key issues around PPPs;
  • Assisting in the review, assessment and approval of PPP projects;
  • Knowledge of and ability to conduct research on Intellectual Property Law, consumer protection law, value chain supply agreements, international business law and international trade law;
  • Strong understanding of private international law and international arbitration for complex commercial transactions.

Qualifications and experience

Governments have a broad range of demands, and so we are looking for a range of profiles to best fit each Fellowship posting.  Below is a general guideline of the qualifications and experience required for an Oxford Law and Policy Fellow:

  • Undergraduate or graduate qualification in law, or otherwise a qualified lawyer;
  • Master’s degree in other relevant discipline (international development, political science, international relations or related field) desirable;
  • Experience in commercial law and/or private international law practice desirable;
  • Demonstrable experience with legal analysis and drafting;
  • Previous experience working in public policy and capacity building desirable;
  • Strong interpersonal and team working skills.  Ability to work closely with local counterparts and develop good relationships in an international and multi-cultural setting;
  • Ability to work independently and proactively;
  • Experience in developing countries and/or transitional economies desirable;
  • Demonstrated understanding (either from previous work experience or study) of key issues in international development, including an understanding of aid;
  • Excellent research, IT and coordination skills;
  • Fluency in a language other than English is a plus. For some postings, an Advanced level of French is required. For these postings, an understanding of French civil law is also desirable.

Job title: Oxford Law & Policy Fellowship

Location: TBC

Salary: £26,000 per annum, plus a housing allowance and one return airfare 

Closing date: 16 March 2015