"I am extremely pleased with OSLA […] All my questions and concerns were answered in a timely manner and I was briefed on each and every step throughout the process. We, as UN staff, are privileged to have OSLA. I encourage all colleagues to approach OSLA and if you are not voluntary contributing, please consider doing so."

Staff Member, Vienna, Austria, 2017


You will never be charged any fee for consultation, advice, or representation by OSLA at any time.


Some staff nonetheless choose to contribute to OSLA to support and enhance this essential service for staff, through the Voluntary Supplemental Funding Mechanism or the Trust Fund for OSLA. Whether you do this or not, OSLA will consider your Request for Assistance impartially, and with your best interests always in mind.


OSLA was established as part of the new United Nations internal justice system, by General Assembly Resolution 63/253 of 24 December 2008, to provide legal advice and representation to around 75,000 staff (and former staff) worldwide. OSLA's regular budget staffing consists of seven lawyers and three legal assistants, with one lawyer working in each of Addis Ababa, Beirut, Geneva and Nairobi and a small team in New York. As the system has become more established and better known, more and more staff have come to OSLA for legal assistance. In 2011 the team was augmented by the addition of another lawyers funded from the Peacekeeping Support Account, which shored up the very busy Nairobi office.

In 2013, the General Assembly established, on an experimental basis, the Voluntary Supplemental Funding Mechanism through which staff members could contribute to the additional resources OSLA requires, through a small monthly payroll deduction, amounting to 0.05% of net base salary (excluding post adjustment and other allowances). This Mechanism has allowed OSLA to add more lawyers and a legal assistant in order to enhance its service to staff.

If you opted out of the Mechanism but now wish to opt in (which is strongly encouraged), and you are a UN Secretariat Staff Member you can complete this form and give it to your Executive Office or local human resources office. Staff of other UN entities should contact their HR office for advice on how to opt back into the scheme.

All staff members are urged to contribute to the Mechanism, which provides the additional funding OSLA needs to be able to help the largest possible group of staff members in need of advice and assistance.


The Office of Staff Legal Assistance additionally has a Trust Fund, to which one-off donations can be made. (See the terms of reference for the fund.) If you would like to donate to this fund, please complete this Contribution Form.

Photo of Katya Melluish, Chief of OSLA
“OSLA never asks potential clients whether they contribute to the Voluntary Mechanism or not. We do however urge all staff to consider contributing as OSLA because your voluntary contribution really helps OSLA to more effectively assist staff, who are more likely to succeed when they have professional legal representation before the Tribunals. Hopefully you will never need to use our services, but by opting to pay a small amount every month to the Mechanism, you support your colleagues around the world in their hour of need.”

Katya Melluish, Chief of OSLA