The Office of Program Research (OPR) has dedicated nonpartisan staff who thrive in the dynamic, often fast-paced legislative environment and are committed to serving all members with objective policy, legal, and fiscal analyses on a myriad of issues facing the state. If you are interested in working with a team of collegial and steadfast professionals on the beautiful Capitol campus,* below is general information about OPR and the various positions available, desirable qualifications, current openings, and how to apply.
Applications are accepted year round. Hiring for session staff usually begins around October.
About the Office of Program Research (OPR)
The Office of Program Research (OPR) provides nonpartisan policy, legal, and fiscal services for the House of Representatives and individual House members, including:
- Drafting bills and amendments at the request of any member.
- Preparing biennial and supplemental budgets and revenue measures.
- Conducting research and analysis of: historical, current, and emerging issues; current laws; administrative rules; court opinions; and government programs.
- Providing technical review and fiscal analysis of proposed legislation.
- Preparing bill analyses and reports and briefing members on bills as they advance in the legislative process.
- Providing committee administrative services such as publishing agendas and record-keeping.
OPR staff mostly work in small teams assigned to specific House committees. Generally, each policy committee is staffed by a combination of two to three full-time Research Analysts and Committee Counsels, while fiscal committees are staffed by several Fiscal Analysts and at least one Committee Counsel. Every committee receives support from a Committee Assistant and Clerk.
Most positions with OPR are permanent, full-time positions. However, there are sometimes session-only openings for Analyst and Counsel positions depending upon the anticipated workload. Some Committee Assistants and all Clerks are session-only employees.
The work at OPR is of a cyclical nature. During session, OPR staff are expected to be available throughout the legislative session and generally work longer hours in an exciting fast-paced environment. Interim provides the opportunity for more self-driven and in-depth research projects with a more flexible work schedule. Regular session begins each year on the 2nd Monday of January. In odd-numbered years, the regular session generally lasts 105 days and, in even-numbered years, 60 days. Additional, special sessions may be called.
Employment Positions with the Office of Program Research (OPR)
ANALYSTS & COUNSELS -- DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS
The ideal candidate has the ability to perform high quality, objective research and analysis in a position requiring high levels of self-direction. The person must have excellent research, writing, oral presentation, and organizational skills and must be pro-active, creative, flexible, collaborative, and service-oriented. The ideal candidate has a demonstrated ability to deal effectively with the fast-paced, high pressure legislative environment. Candidates must be willing to work the long, irregular hours that are common during a legislative session. A graduate degree is desirable. Candidates for Legal Counsel positions must have a Juris Doctorate and must be a member of a state bar association.
The primary duty of the Legal Counsel is to provide individual members and committees with legal research and analysis. Duties also include policy research and analysis, developing and evaluating options to assist House members in meeting their policy goals, bill and amendment drafting, presentation of oral and written staff reports, and committee administration.
The primary duty of the Research Analyst is to provide individual members and committees with policy research and analysis. Duties also include developing and evaluating options to assist House members in meeting their policy goals, bill and amendment drafting, presentation of oral and written staff reports, and committee administration.
The primary duty of the Fiscal Analyst is to provide individual members and committees with fiscal research and analysis and to assist members in the development of legislative budget and revenue proposals. Duties also include review and analysis of agency budget requests and Governor's budget proposals, policy analysis, research, bill drafting, and presentation of oral and written staff reports.
COMMITTEE ASSISTANTS -- DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS
Committee Assistants provide clerical and administrative support to House policy, legal, and fiscal staff and the committees of the House of Representatives. Committee Assistants are expected to prepare official committee meeting materials and records; assist with the planning and organizing of committee meetings; schedule Zoom Webinars and maintain participant lists; develop and maintain filing systems; track the progress of bills; word processing; provide information to legislators, staff, lobbyists, media, and the general public; and answer telephone calls and respond to emails. The ideal candidate must be skilled in clerical and administrative procedures; able to multi-task and use organizational and planning skills to prioritize tasks within competing deadlines; an excellent proofreader, highly attentive to detail, and committed to producing high quality documents; able to use good judgment and maintain confidentiality; proficient with Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Adobe, Internet Explorer, and Zoom; able to communicate information accurately, clearly, and in a timely manner; knowledgeable about state government and the functions and organization of the Legislature. Candidates must be willing to work the long, irregular hours that are common during a legislative session.
CLERKS -- DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS
Clerks work closely with Committee Assistants and provide clerical support to the committees of the House of Representatives. Clerks are expected to copy, assemble, and file committee documents; distribute committee materials; set up and take down hearing rooms; act as the receptionist, answering telephones and receiving visitors; and perform other assignments necessary to conduct committee business. The ideal candidate must be organized and reliable; able to work well independently and also with others; follow instructions well; and able to use good judgment and maintain confidentiality.
OPR has an internship program for current graduate and legal students, and hires a Budget Fellow each year to assist with the Appropriations Committee. More information is available at
Graduate Intern Program
SALARY: Salaries for professional legislative staff are competitive. The specific salary will depend on the candidate's education and experience.
BENEFITS: For permanent employees, benefits include: vacation, sick, and military leave; paid state holidays; health, life, long-term disability, and other optional insurance; social security; and retirement and deferred compensation programs.
HOW TO APPLY: If you are interested in applying for an available position with OPR, please respond as directed in the job announcement posted above. If there are no vacant positions, you may send a letter of interest and resume to OPRApplicants@leg.wa.gov. Your materials will be kept on file for one year.
*Working remotely may be necessary due to COVID-19 or similar public health requirements.
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
The House of Representatives is committed to creating and maintaining
a diverse work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and
where all people are treated, and expected to treat others, with dignity and respect.
Persons requiring reasonable accommodation may contact the House ADA Coordinator at email@example.com
or 360-786-7271 or call TTY: 1-800-833-6388.
All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.