Legal Assistant – G5

Issue Date 01 Mar 2021 Closing Date 08 Mar 2021
Grade G5 Post Duration 01 March - 10 March 2021
Duty Station Nairobi Organizational Unit Office of the Executive Director
Job Opening

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships:  The position is located with the Office of the Executive Director of UN-Habitat in Nairobi.


The Office of the Executive Director is responsible for the formulation of  a clear and consistent vision for UN-Habitat , as well as the policies necessary to effectuate that vision; establishing operational priorities and strategies, in consultation with senior management of the programme; ensuring effective management and accountability of the programme and budget; and engaging with key Member States and other stakeholders to secure both political and financial support for UN-Habitat

The Legal Unit is responsible to ensure that UN-Habitat’s activities are carried out in accordance with applicable regulatory frameworks and relevant law; reducing the potential for financial and other types of loss, through legal risk analysis; and representing the interests of the Programme in internal administration of justice proceedings

The position reports to the Chief of the Legal Unit.

Responsibilities: Within limits of delegated authority and depending on location, the Legal Assistant may be responsible for the following duties.  (These duties are generic, and may not be performed by all Legal Assistants.)

At this grade level, Legal Assistants typically provide a combination of general office, legal, meetings servicing and other administrative support within a work unit/team.  Depending on assignment, an incumbent typically:

  • Researches and compiles legal materials for use in the preparation of legal opinions, for inclusion in studies and reports and for matters before the administrative tribunal.
  • Handles, or refers to the appropriate officer as appropriate, a variety of verbal and written inquiries from internal and external parties, including providing information on processes and procedures related to specific legal activities, instruments, etc.
  • Under supervision, may review, summarize and index significant rulings, legal opinions, recommendations, etc.
  • Under supervision, may review, verify and process legal instruments ensuring conformity to relevant guidelines and requirements, extract key data and update database, monitor requisite follow-up actions, approvals, etc.
  • Under supervision, may edit and conduct final check for accuracy of a variety of specialized legal documentation, instruments, publications and related correspondence. 
  • Services various committees, hearings and other meetings; selects and compiles relevant background materials; assists in the preparation of relevant documents; attends meetings and drafts minutes/notes; monitors follow-up actions, etc.
  • Coordinates ceremonies (e.g. signings, etc.) and related meetings, ensuring timely receipt of legal instruments and other requisite documentation.
  • Assists in the preparation of legal documents for electronic storage, access and circulation/publication, including document scanning and conversion, review of content and extraction of key data and text excerpts for categorization and indexing purposes, etc. 
  • Creates, as necessary, maintains and updates internal databases; generates a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases.
  • Provides initial technical support to users to resolve hardware/software problems and provides a link with the ITSD Support Help Desk; assists in forecasting budget for information technology requirements; maintains an inventory of existing computer equipment.
  • Provides general office support services; drafts, edits, proofreads and finalizes for signature and/or process a variety of correspondence and other communications.
  • Sets up and maintains reference files/records (electronic and paper).
  • Schedules appointments/meetings, monitors deadlines, etc.
  • May provide guidance/training to less experienced staff.
  • Performs other ad hoc duties as assigned.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

Senior officials across the common system, including field missions.

Legal Officers in legal divisions and staff in relevant offices across the Secretariat.

Government officials, including Permanent Representatives and their staff.

Contacts in law firms and private and international organizations.

Results Expected:  Provides reliable and timely general office and basic legal research/ administrative support services at the unit level, including servicing meetings.  Effectively tracks and monitors key processes, deliverables, etc.  Effectively organizes and maintains records and data.  Consistently applies appropriate policies, guidelines and procedures.  Effectively and, in a timely manner, liaises and interacts with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally.



  • Professionalism: Knowledge of organizational legal protocols and activities. Ability to conduct research from standard research sources, analyze information and compile relevant legal materials/information. Ability to show tact and discretion in dealing with confidential matters and materials. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
  • Planning& Organizing:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
  • Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive
  • partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.


Education:  High school diploma or equivalent.

Experience: A minimum of five years of experience in information Management, conference servicing, general office support or related area.

Language:  English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage. 

Other:          (To be determined and specified by Programme Manager, as required or desirable, at the time of building a specific vacancy announcement. Qualifications listed in this part should be of a technical nature and not related to education, experience and language as indicated above.)


All applicants should submit their P11/PHP or CVs to:          


Deadline for applications is 08 March 2021 at 23:59 EAT

UN-HABITAT does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of these offices and requesting the payment of a fee, please contact: