Volunteer to Assist the National Oil Company of Liberia in Modernizing Liberia’s Petroleum Laws


Immediate and ongoing

The International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization with sister organizations in London (ISLP-UK) and Paris (ISLP-Europe), seeks a volunteer lawyer to spend six months working in Monrovia, Liberia, with  the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) in cooperation with senior ISLP volunteers.  Five or more years of experience in international transactional work, including some experience with international oil or gas operations, is essential. Experience with the negotiation or administration of exploration and drilling contracts where a government or a national oil company is either a client or the counterparty will be particularly relevant.

ISLP provides the pro bono services of highly skilled and experienced lawyers to promote human rights, equitable and sustainable economic development and the rule of law worldwide. ISLP assists governments, non-governmental organizations and other institutions working to build legal capacity and to advance the rights and well-being of their citizens.  Since beginning active operations in the fall of 2001, it has provided an estimated US$70 million in volunteer legal services in or affecting more than 40 countries. ISLP has been working in Liberia since the inauguration of President Sirleaf in January 2006, providing onsite volunteers to the Ministries of Justice, Health, Finance and Foreign Affairs; assisting with the negotiation of major international agreements; providing capacity-building workshops; and advising on international arbitrations and other matters.

Volunteer Tasks:

The volunteer will work with NOCAL on the modernization ofLiberia’s petroleum laws, the development of regulations to implement current and new laws, and issues related to oil exploration contracts. He or she will be assisted by ISLP senior lawyer volunteers who have been working with the Government of Liberia for several years. Jeffrey Wood, a retired corporate partner from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, is leading ISLP’s assistance efforts in support of NOCAL and the government’s efforts in the petroleum sector.

In addition to assistance with law reform efforts, the volunteer will assist NOCAL in dealing with the increasing number of contract interpretation questions that arise from the administration of Liberia’s eight existing oil exploration contracts, and to respond to the proposals and advice Liberia is receiving from advisers such as the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI), a nonprofit organization, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), a nongovernmental organization based in Ghana.

Liberia has awarded eight offshore oil exploration and development contracts, which have mostly been inactive, but all can be expected to become active with the recent discoveries, creating the need for more careful contract administration and interpretation than has been previously required.


The candidate will serve on a volunteer basis. However, depending on the circumstances of the successful candidate, ISLP will fund all or part of the out-of-pocket costs of the assignment.


The need is immediate and ongoing. The ideal volunteer will be available by June 1st and be prepared to spend the balance of the year inMonrovia.

Application Materials:

Please email a cover letter, resume and references. Please do not apply if you do not have the requisite experience. Due to limited staff resources, ISLP can only respond to applicants whom we would like to interview.