Serve, Learn, and Lead in Olympia.
Applications for the 2021 legislative session open September 1, 2020.
Applications have a priority deadline of October 16, 2020 and a final deadline of October 21, 2020.
Each January, beginning in 1955, the Washington State Legislature welcomes around 70 passionate, inquisitive, and hardworking students to serve as non-partisan, full time legislative staff in Olympia.
In addition to earning academic credit, interns engage as part of a team, helping solve real world problems for the citizens of Washington. These interactions provide one of a kind insights into the events and legislation that impact our state every day.
The Legislative Internship Program offers unparalleled access to Washington's most influential leaders and policy makers, professional development to build transferrable skills, and hands-on simulations to learn all aspects of the legislative process. This experience will encourage you to learn quickly, think critically, and develop professionally as you forge lifelong connections in public policy.
Political experience is not necessary, and students of all majors are encouraged to apply. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and political ideologies who are active leaders, engaged in campus communities, and excited to learn about government while gaining practical job skills. Whether your interest is in law, business, communications, environmental policy, public health, or elsewhere, there is a place for you in Olympia. Interns are matched with legislators in the House of Representatives or the Senate based on interest areas and political ideology. The program also has opportunities for interns to serve as caucus staff, focusing on policy or communications.
The 2020 internship begins January 11, 2021 and ends April 23, 2021, with flexible options for quarter students to participate for the quarter only or the full session. Students must be enrolled juniors or seniors, in good academic standing, and receiving academic credit for the internship. The internship is a full-time, 40 hour per week commitment.
Are you ready to embrace the challenge?
Join a network of thousands of students who have started their careers in Olympia.
Interns are matched with the offices of legislators or caucus staff based on their skills and interests and can be placed in either the House of Representatives or Senate. All interns share these basic responsibilities and may take on a variety of special projects.
- Conduct legislative research and summarize issues in short policy memos
- Attend committee hearings and legislative meetings
- Correspond with constituents, lobbyists, and state agencies via phone, email, and meetings
- Track legislation
- Draft letters, resolutions, talking points, press releases, and newsletters
- Assist with daily office tasks
- Participate in intern classes, workshops, and policy exercises
- Maintain professional, non-partisan conduct
- Explore more about the intern experience here
- 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
- All majors and areas of interest are welcome
- Able to receive academic credit for the internship (see School Policies and check with your advisor or career office for your school's requirements)
Desired Skills and Selection Criteria
- Excellent writing abilities (clear, professional, error-free writing)
- Analytical and research skills, especially in prioritizing and concisely summarizing complex information
- Strong interpersonal and customer service skills in working with both colleagues and the public
- Professional work ethic and independent time management skills
- Flexibility and positive attitude about working in a fast-paced environment
- Mature judgment and commitment to following all legislative ethics laws
- Interest in learning about public policy and the legislative process
- Prior political experience or political science background is not necessary
- Online application form
- Cover letter explaining why you are interested in serving as an intern and how you meet the internship qualifications
- One-page personal essay on one of our three prompts
- 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.
- Unofficial university transcript
- Two letters of recommendation: one academic reference and one professional reference
- Meet with your academic advisor and your school's designated internship coordinators prior to applying. Applicants must follow their school's internal process to ensure credit eligibility.
- Applications are received jointly by the House and Senate. Applications received by the priority deadline will receive first consideration for interviews at each school.
- Selected candidates are interviewed in October and November by both House and Senate Civic Education Directors.
- Hiring decisions are made and applicants are notified by late November/early December.
- Interns are placed with individual legislators' offices after hiring decisions are finalized.
Career and academic advisors:
contact us to request electronic or hard copies of internship materials for your campus.