Legislative Internship Program

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 Applications for the 2021 legislative session will open September 1, 2020 with a priority deadline of October 16, 2020 and a final deadline of October 21, 2020

Application Instructions 

Before applying, please read all instructions carefully and ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements:

  • Attending a four-year college or university in Washington State OR Washington State resident attending an out-of-state college

  • Junior or senior status in good academic standing

  • Able to receive academic credit for the internship

1.  Follow the process required by your school to arrange for credit and a faculty sponsor. You are responsible for meeting all internal application requirements and deadlines set by your institution. Visit the School Policies page to find your school's requirements and contacts.   

2.  Request letters of recommendation from one academic and one personal or professional reference:

  • The academic reference should be from a college faculty member who can speak to your writing and research abilities and your general academic performance. It does not need to be from your faculty sponsor. TAs and community college faculty are acceptable references.
  • The personal or professional reference should be from someone who has worked with you and knows you well, such as an employer, coach, advisor, church or scouting leader, volunteer manager, or someone in a similar role who can speak to your character, work ethic, and interpersonal skills. Please do not use a family member or personal friend as a reference.

Send your references the link to the Internship Reference Form to upload their letters of recommendation (www.leg.wa.gov/Internships/Pages/InternReference.aspx). Letters are kept confidential. If your references enter your email address in the form, you will receive an email automatically when the letter is submitted. They can be submitted before the rest of the application.

3.  Obtain an electronic copy of your unofficial transcript from your current college or university. If you are a transfer student and have not yet completed a full quarter or semester at your current school, please submit a copy of your most recent transcript from your previous school. We require transcripts to verify your academic status as a junior or senior in good standing. We do not have a minimum GPA cutoff. Evergreen students only:  please submit a summary of your attempted/earned credits, NOT your full transcript. 

4.  Prepare a resume and cover letter describing your work, volunteer, and academic experience, demonstrating why you meet the qualifications for the internship. Your cover letter should be formatted like a business letter and addressed to Colleen Rust and Leo O'Leary. See Writing Tips for suggestions on crafting a strong cover letter and essay.           

5.  Choose ONE of the following prompts and write a one-page personal essay responding to it. Essays should be well-edited, professional (not academic) in tone, and tell us something about who you are as a person. Do not use your essay to take a stand on a political issue or summarize your résumé. Your essay should clearly state which prompt you are addressing.              

  • What is a book, film, or work of art that has influenced you?
  • What is the best advice you have received? How did it impact you and what lessons did you learn?
  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, share your story.  

6.  Complete the online application and upload your transcripts and written materials. You cover letter, resume, and essay MUST be saved as a single document to upload. 

7.  Submit! Please note that the application form will not allow you to submit until all materials are complete, so make sure that your documents are prepared and ready to upload before you begin the application. (Again, letters of recommendation are submitted separately by your recommenders.) 


All application materials must be received by 11:59 PM October 21, 2020 to ensure consideration. Applications submitted prior to 11:59 PM on October 16, 2020 will receive priority consideration for interview selection.

In reviewing applications, we look closely at clarity and correctness of writing, so be sure that your materials are proofread and represent your best work. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted in late October about interview date and time. Most interviews are conducted on or near your school campus in October and November.

Your application will be considered by both the House and Senate programs.  Please contact the internship coordinators at civic.ed@leg.wa.gov with questions about the process or refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Leo O'Leary
House Civic Education Director
(360) 786-7889
Colleen Rust                     
Senate Civic Education Director
(360) 786-7016

The Washington State Legislature is an equal opportunity employer. Please contact the coordinators if you require assistance with the application process or need the application in an alternative format.