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Internship Syllabus 

Office work

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.  For examples of past intern projects, click here.

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
  Professional Development
  • Writing Correspondence, Resolutions, and Memos
  • Respectful Workplace and Office Decorum
  • Phone Etiquette
  • Outlook and Calendering
  • Writing for the Media
  • Grad School/Law School Panel
  • Résumé Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 Mock Committee and Floor Debate

The Mock is a highlight of the internship.  Using actual bills dropped during 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 one of the chambers (House and Senate host in alternate years) and faculty and families are invited to attend.

Agency Shadow

All interns have the opportunity to spend at least a half day shadowing 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 Attorney Generals, the Secretary of the Senate, the Chief Clerk of the House, and state agency directors.  Alternatively, interns can choose to participate in a group field trip to a state correctional facility or to the Parliament in British Columbia (interns are responsible for their own transportation and lodging).

Academic work (assigned by university)

All interns are required to earn academic credit for the internship. Most colleges and universities include academic assignments as part of the credit requirement.  Interns are encouraged to make appropriate use of the resources available at the Legislature for their school research, and may spend no more than 3-5 hours of their work week for their school assignments. Academic requirements vary by school and department, so interns should communicate with their school contacts about assignments and deadlines. The Legislature’s internship coordinators do not oversee interns’ school assignments.

Optional Activities

  • TVW Tour
  • Governor’s Mansion Tour
  • State Archives Tour
  • Planning Committees for Media and Lobbyist Panels
  • Page School Teaching Assistant
  • Supreme Court Hearings
  • Yearbook Committee
  • Canadian Intern Exchange Hosting Committee

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