Legislative Internship Program

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Internship Syllabus 

Office Assignments

Interns spend the majority of their time each week on work for their offices.  Typical assignments include responding to constituent correspondence, conducting policy research, working on communications projects, attending committee hearings and other meetings, handling constituent casework, and similar activities.  

Civic Education Classes and Trainings

In addition to their office work, all interns participate in regular trainings and seminars on a variety of topics on the legislative process, state government, and professional development. The internship begins with three days of intensive orientation, covering the Legislature's ethics and conduct laws, research and bill tracking tools, writing guidelines, and office expectations.  Throughout session, interns attend classes taught by legislative staff and other state policymakers, which typically cover the following areas:   

 Legislature and State Government

  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • Committee Process
  • Rules Committee
  • Caucus and Committee Staff
  • Legislative Ethics
  • Legislative Research
  • Online Reports and Bill Tracking
  • Hotlines and Legislative Software
  • Constituent Casework
  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • Amendment Writing
  • Introduction to the Budget
  • Budget Balancing Exercise
  • Media Panel
  • Lobbyist Panel
  • Supreme Court Tour and Q&A with Justices
  • Paging on the House/Senate Floor*

Professional Development

  • Writing Correspondence, Resolutions, and Memos
  • Respectful Workplace and Office Decorum
  • Phone Etiquette
  • How to Take Meetings
  • Outlook and Calendering
  • Writing for the Media
  • Grad School/Law School Panel
  • Résumé Workshop
  • Networking






 Mock Committee and Floor Debate

The Mock is a highlight of the internship.  Using actual bills from the current session, interns take on the roles of legislators, staff, and advocates and hold committee hearings and a floor debate in a full-scale simulation of the legislative process that includes research, amendment drafting, negotiating, and parliamentary procedure.  The Mock floor debate is held in the House or Senate chamber and faculty and families are invited to attend. 

Job Shadow

All interns have the opportunity to shadow a state official to learn in-depth about how law and policy are applied in a field of interest to them. Shadows are hosted by Assistant Attorneys General, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate, the Chief Clerk of the House, and various state agencies. Alternatively, interns can choose to participate in a group visit to a state correctional facility or to the Parliament in British Columbia (interns are responsible for their own transportation and lodging).

Academic Assignments

All interns are required to earn academic credit for the internship. Most colleges and universities include academic assignments as part of the credit requirement. Academic requirements vary by school and department, so interns should communicate with their school contacts about assignments and deadlines. The Legislature's internship staff do not oversee interns' school assignments.

Paging on the House/Senate Floor

All interns are reguired to sign up to potentially page a certain number of dates when the members are on the floor past 5pm. These dates and times are when members are on the floor past 5pm on weekdays, and any time on the weekends. This is becasue our pages who are 14-16 years old only page on weekdays and must be released prior to 5pm. Interns will be notified of these dates and how many evenings/weekends they must sign up for once session is underway. 

Optional Educational Opportunities

  • TVW Tour
  • Governor's Mansion Tour
  • State Archives Tour
  • Planning guest panels
  • Page School Teaching Assistant
  • Supreme Court Hearings
  • Yearbook Committee
  • Canadian Intern Exchange Host Committee
  • Social Media Team
  • History Team 

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The internship did wonders for turning my theoretical major into an applicable field of study. I went from PoliSci nerd to potential employee with valuable legislative knowledge.


I learned how to work in a professional setting and important skills that are needed in the workplace--- like technical writing and effective communication.

 Office management skills are going to be especially useful in my future business career. Also if I decide to go into law, my experience working with lawyers and legal issues will be especially relevant. Interpersonal communication skills and phone skills will be relevant no matter what career I choose.


I learned a lot from the mock. It was really neat to see how much actual work goes into preparing for debate. Working with Trisha and watching her floor leader duties was the most enlightening part.


My shadowing experience was a chance to see what was on a textbook page in reality.


The internship gave me a much better view of how the political machine works, at least at the state level. There is much more compromise and bipartisanship than I would have expected.


I couldn't have had better offices! They both answered all my questions, made me feel part of the team, and helped me in any way they could - they went above and beyond.