Witness Assistance Officer

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A witness assistance officer helps prepare a witness for their appearance in court. They do this by briefing them on what to expect, familiarising them with the court system and processes, connecting them with counselling and other services, helping them to understand their rights and entitlements and if necessary, accompanying the witness to court. Witness assistance officers are employed by both government agencies and non-government support services. Their main concerns are the welfare of their client and ensuring that their involvement in whatever legal proceedings are taking place runs smoothly. A completed law degee is not essential for this type of work, though students and new graduates may find it a good entry-level role, providing the opportunity to gain experience and an insight into the workings of the legal system. An understanding of the law and legal processes as well as empathy and knowledge of support services and victims issues is essential.