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The Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service

Internships in Olympia

Each spring, the Washington State Legislature offers paid internships to undergraduates with junior or senior academic standing. Interns spend their semester working in Olympia with staff and members of the Washington State House of Representatives or Senate.

Mock floor debate Students in Olympia Student dropping bill in hopper

Nature of the Work

Student interns typically do legislative research, bill tracking, and constituent correspondence. They have the opportunity to attend committee hearings and other meetings and interact with staff and legislators. A mutually beneficial working relationship between the legislative offices and interns is an important goal of the program.

In addition to their office work, interns participate in academic seminars and workshops. The seminars include meeting with important state officials as well as panel discussions. In the workshops, interns take part in a budget exercise, mock hearing, and floor debate. They learn parliamentary procedure and how to write for the legislature. Additionally, interns have the opportunity to shadow an elected official or administrator of a state agency for a day and learn about his/her job.

Interns are important contributing members of the staff at the Washington State Legislature. They learn about state government while providing a valuable service. Interns gain an inside view of the legislative process and how constituents are served, while acquiring marketable skills and experience for graduation.

Application Process

Applications are due in Olympia in the fall prior to the session for which the student is applying. Applications are reviewed by the House and Senate intern coordinators, who determine acceptance and placement. The application review process takes into consideration the applicant’s academic qualifications, work experience, recommendations, writing samples, and personal interviews.

The online application is now available online at Washington State Legislature.

More Information

To learn more about the program, contact the Foley Institute: 509-335-3477.