Hoping to apply for legal assistant jobs in Dubai? You’ll need a stellar CV and cover letter. It's a role that demands close attention to detail, critical thinking, and the utmost professionalism, and potential employers will be scanning your CV for evidence of this.

The legal hiring landscape in the UAE skyrocketed this summer, driven by demand for oil and last year's Qatar World Cup. The recent COP28 climate conference (hosted in the UAE) has triggered a flurry of legal sector activity as parties begin to update domestic laws and regulations to meet the agreed-upon commitments. Demand for skilled legal talent is high, driving the need for legal support roles.

Our UAE legal recruitment experts talk you through the role, its requirements, and how to write a winning legal assistant CV for your application.

What is a legal assistant?

Legal assistants provide critical support, liaising between courts, clients, and the legal professionals they aid. As a legal assistant, you'll be responsible for everyday administrative duties like researching and collating evidence, organising meetings, transcribing notes, maintaining case files, and preparing records of legal documents. Your tasks may vary depending on the sector and employer you work with, but essentially, your role is to ensure the smooth running of the firm or in-house legal function.

In the UAE, legal assistants who speak Arabic and English are some of the most sought-after due to their liaison and transcription duties. To successfully relocate, UK professionals must be up to speed with the UAE's legal system, laws, and protocols. Experience like this should take pride of place in your cover letter and CV personal statement.

Read: How to write a good cover letter

Legal assistant duties and responsibilities

  • Provide legal, compliance and administrative support
  • Prepare legal documents, regulatory filings, and internal policies/procedures
  • Act as the primary point of contact for clients
  • Conduct legal research using databases, libraries, and online resources
  • Organise and maintain legal documents, contracts, and files
  • Provide vital case support
  • Manage calendars, schedule court dates, deadlines, and meetings
  • Administrative duties: filing, data entry, photocopying, etc.
  • Track billable hours, prepare invoices, and manage accounts receivable

Our experts recommend taking any relevant experience in the duties and responsibilities listed above and bringing them through into your cover letter and professional summary. If you performed similar tasks in past roles, put those at the top of your duties list for that role and include them in the job summary sections.

Read: writing an effective CV

Skills every successful legal assistant CV needs

Technical skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in legal studies or similar
  • Experience working in a law firm (usually preferred but not required)
  • Proficient in MS Office ● Proficient in legal research tools and software
  • Familiarity with UAE law, court systems, legal procedures, and protocols

Soft skills

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential information
  • Self-motivated
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively

Legal assistant job salary

A legal assistant working in an in-house role can expect a starting salary of $55,000. With the right skills and experience on your CV, this could go up to $75,000, which marks the highest end of the pay scale.

Employers are currently hunting for legal talent with fluency in both Arabic and English, as work in Saudi Arabia has sapped the region’s best talent. If this is a skill you've got, highlight it in your cover letter and CV to negotiate a higher salary.

Read: 2024 Robert Half UAE Salary Guide

Top CV writing tips

  1. Ensure all personal information and contact details are clear and legible at the top of your CV.
  2. Start with a short professional statement or summary (a maximum of five lines) tailored to the role you're applying for. Use this to highlight key experience, skills, and achievements.
  3. When listing out your achievements, be sure to include tangible numbers and data for better credibility.
  4. List your previous roles chronologically, complete with a short summary and a bullet point list of responsibilities.
  5. Front-load your summaries and bullet points to highlight key skills and duties which pertain to the role you’re applying for.
  6. Proofread your CV thoroughly before you send it — remember, attention to detail, accuracy and professionalism are vital to this role!
  7. Send your CV with a tailored cover letter addressing the recipient by name wherever possible. Include a brief overview of your relevant skills and experience, especially any mentioned in the original job advert.

Feeling ready to start applying for legal assistant roles in Dubai? Start by uploading your CV to our website or browse open roles now. Want to know more about emigrating to Dubai before you start applying? Read our free expat guide here.