Legislative interns gain practical experience working for a State Senator, State Representative or a Committee. Interns come from a varied spectrum of academic backgrounds, but internships are typically only available for students pursuing an undergraduate degree or higher. The intern program provides students with a better understanding of public service and the legislative process in Massachusetts. Interns are unpaid volunteers; however, students may be eligible to earn academic credit for their participation by making arrangements through their advisors and professors.
During the summer, interns are invited to attend the Massachusetts Summer Legislative Intern Program, in which there is an eight week speaker series organized exclusively for legislative interns. The lectures are offered Monday through Thursday, with one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Previous presenters have included Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Governor Michael Dukakis, legislators, advocates, and agency secretaries. There were more than 70 seminars offered during the summer of 2013. The series is bi-partisan and gives an overview of the variety of roles in government and government relations.
To apply for an Intern position in one of the:
Senate Legislative offices, please contact your Senator (see links below), or the Senate Office of Education and Civic Engagement at (617) 722-1380 or via email to Anne.Ziaja@masenate.gov Currently no more applications are being accepted for Summer 2015.
House Legislative offices, please contact your State Representative (see links below), or the House Committee on Personnel and Administration at (617) 722-2582 or via email to Jodilyn.Lanza@mahouse.gov Currently no more applications are being accepted for Summer 2015.
Legislative offices are unique and they each have their own set of needs, so an intern’s experience varies by office. The following is an example of possible legislative intern responsibilities:
Research Bills - the objective is to summarize what the proposal is and who are its proponents and opponents.
Research Issues - your supervisor may have you research legislative issues and issues pertaining to the Legislator’s district.
Attend Hearings - all legislation is heard before committees before coming to the floor for further action.
Observe Floor Action - according to the Constitution of Massachusetts, the Legislature is required to meet in their respective Chambers for either a formal or informal session every 72 hours. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House determine the days and times of the sessions.
As an intern, you may be asked to work with residents of the communities in the Legislator’s district. This may include assisting constituents in resolving a problem, fielding calls regarding legislative inquires, or drafting correspondence.
Other various administrative duties are central to the success of a legislator’s office and may include: answering phones, typing, filing, and preparing mailings, letter writing, copying data and performing office errands and reading and researching state and local news articles.