The Washington State Legislature sponsors the Legislative Intern program for Washington State college students. Interns spend Winter Quarter in Olympia while the legislature is in session and work under the supervision of the House and Senate Intern Coordinators.
Interns may be assigned to individual legislators in the House or the Senate, to committees, or to an "intern pool" to work for more than one legislator. Ordinarily an intern will be assigned first to the House or the Senate and then to a specific position. Interns usually spend the entire quarter in either the House or the Senate. Interns directly experience the legislative process through their work assignment.
They are expected to perform a variety of tasks:
- Research and writing reports on specific issues
- Tracking legislation
- Attending committee hearings
- Assisting with preparing and mailing newsletters
- Responding to constituent inquiries by phone or mail
- General office work
- Undergraduate students in any discipline are eligible to apply
- Junior standing (89 credits completed) by the end of Fall Quarter, you are not eligible if you graduate before Winter Quarter.
- No minimum GPA.
- Completion of two Political Science classes or equivalent demonstrated political knowledge
- Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office, e-mail and Internet
Interns have typically received some compensation to help offset costs associated with the internship. In 2019 a stipend of $1,300/month was awarded to internship participants; that support is expected to continue in 2020.
Interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements in Olympia. However, Intern Coordinators will provide participants with the Legislature’s housing list and interns can also join the roommate list if they are interested in connecting with other interns for possible shared housing.
The House and Senate Intern Coordinators set dress standards for interns which must be followed. Interns are expected to dress professionally.
More information is available on the Washington State Legislature's website.