Issued on: 
DUTY STATION    Nairobi, Kenya
FUNCTIONAL TITLE    Legal Assistant
CONTRACT TYPE    Individual Contractor (IICA)
POST DURATION    Six months (Temporary)
CLOSING DATE    18 December 2023


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, (UN-Habitat), is the United Nations agency for Hu-man Settlements. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and envi-ronmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. As the United Nations focal point on human settlements, UN-Habitat will lead advocacy efforts to raise awareness of sustainable urbanization issues; provide evidence-based policy advice; build capacities; develop tools, norms and standards based on best practices; work on demonstration projects and provide assistance to national Governments, local authorities, and other public institutions responsible for urban issues.

The Legal Unit, situated in the Office of the Executive Director, (OED), is responsible for, but not limited to: (a) the provision of timely and sound legal advice to UN-Habitat through its officials including the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director, Senior Managers, and other relevant UN-Habitat offi-cials and partners; (b) preparation of guidelines on handling and preventing issues such as corruption, misconduct, fraud, inefficient use of resources, unnecessary legal claims and liabilities which continue to pose serious threats and challenge to the operations of UN-Habitat and its relations with its partners; (c) the efficient and timely review and clearance of all legal agreements and legal instruments prior to their signature to reduce exposure of UN-Habitat to risks, legal claims and liabilities; (d) provision of appropri-ate legal representation before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, (UNDT), and dispute settlement bod-ies; and (e) resolving disputes with partners and other stakeholders and ensuring that disputes are effi-ciently handled and minimized.


Under the direct supervision of the Officer-in-Charge of the Legal Office, the Individual Contractor shall undertake specific responsibilities aimed at achieving the required objective and results and support the realization of UN-Habitat's mandate. The Individual Contractor will carry out the following duties:

(a)    Review, verify and process legal instruments ensuring conformity to relevant guidelines and re-quirements, extract key data and update database, monitor requisite follow-up actions, approvals, etc.;

(b)    Assist in the preparation and filing of cases with the United Nations Administration of Justice, (UNDT and UNAT), and any other body such as the Management Evaluation Unit (MEU);

(c)    Handle, or refer to the Legal 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.;
(d)    Conduct basic research on assigned issues, using existing legal files and alternative sources (e.g., computer-assisted searches using the internet, intranet or other databases); verify facts, identify cita-tions, precedents, issues to be addressed, etc., and draft statements of findings, respondent replies to appeals, etc. for review by the Legal Officer;

(e)    Edit and conduct final check for accuracy of a variety of specialized legal documentation, instru-ments, and related correspondence, for final clearance and approval;

(f)    Participate and assist in drafting legal opinions and correspondences;

(g)    Assist in the preparation of legal documents for electronic storage, access and circula-tion/publication, including document scanning and conversion, review of content and extraction of key data and text excerpts for categorization and indexing purposes, etc.;

(h)    Schedule appointments/meetings, monitor deadlines, etc.; and

(i)    Perform other duties as assigned.


The responsibilities referenced above successfully undertaken with the aim of achieving the required ob-jective, results and the realization of the Legal Unit as well as satisfactory review of implementing part-ners and organisations through the Nexis Lexis Due Diligence Tool.


•    Professionalism: Knowledge of organizational legal framework, relevant legal processes, procedures and terminology for review, examination, preparation and processing of legal documents. Ability to conduct research using diverse legal research sources (including electronic sources on the internet, in-tranet and other data bases). Ability to review and synthesizes information and present findings and recommendations in a required format. Knowledge of information management, classification and re-trieval systems. Ability to show tact and discretion in dealing with high-ranking officials and with confidential matters and materials. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates profes-sional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commit-ments, 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 stress-ful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal par-ticipation of women and men in all areas of

•    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; tailor’s language, tone, style and format to match audience; demon-strates 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 be-fore personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such de-cisions 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; moni-tors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

•    Client Orientation: 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.


Education: Bachelor’s degree in law from a recognized institution is a requirement. A Masters’ degree in Law or a related field would be an added advantage.

Work experience: Minimum experience of one (1) year is a requirement, part of which must be related to International and Administrative Law and Legal Research in an international organisation.  

Language: French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Knowledge of French or any another UN language is an asset. 

Applications should include:
•    Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
•    P11, indicating the following information:
1.    Educational Background (incl. dates)
2.    Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
3.    Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)

All applications should be submitted to: 
Deadline for applications:  18 December 2023
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:  

6 Month
Individual Contractor (IICA)
Duty Station
The Legal Unit