The Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) has announced a second round of interviews, focused on filling remaining positions. Currently, there are 6 positions available with the House and Senate Republican Staffs along with 2 positions remaining with the Senate Democratic Staff and 2 positions with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. The program offers 24 internships each year. Offers have been made and accepted for the other 14 internships.
If you or someone you know is interested in politics, policymaking, communications, or the law, your applications are welcome. All applicants are required to complete their undergraduate degree prior to the start of the internship. For recent graduates or soon-to-be graduates, the internship bridges their educational endeavors to the world of work. Other applicants pursue the internship to gain experience during a gap year before proceeding with their graduate degree or law school. Applicants that are looking to restart or change a career are also welcome to apply. Interns that successfully complete the internship often are at the top of the list when there are openings on the legislative staffs.
Available internships are with the Research and Appropriations/Committee, Communications Staff, and Events staffs, along with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.
- Interns with Research and Appropriations are assigned to a legislative committee like Higher Education and become an expert on the topics related to your committee assignment, providing written analysis, acting as the contact for your members as well as agency liaisons, lobbyists, and the general public with questions or concerns about the legislation or its current status.
- An intern handling bills for the Higher Education Committee would also handle the related budgets for the institutions of higher education along with the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
- Interns with Communications would be responsible for writing press releases and draft responses to constituent letters, managing social media, and maintaining legislative websites.
- Interns with Events would assist in the planning and implementation of special events in legislative districts related to current legislation or community outreach related to topics such as health concerns, women’s issues or veterans’ affairs.
- Interns with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability respond to legislative research requests and assist the Commission in the completion of Pension Notes and other newsletters, reports, and publications completed on behalf of the Illinois General Assembly. The Commission is particularly interested in identifying candidates with economic or financial research skills as well as science research skills.
ILSIP is a graduate internship program, requiring applicants to complete their undergraduate degree prior to the start of the internship. Sponsored by the Illinois General Assembly, candidates from across the state and beyond are encouraged to apply. The purpose of the internship is experiential to gain knowledge and skills working with the legislature. Most pursue the internship as non-degree seeking students. Interns work full-time earning 2 credits for a foundational seminar in the fall semester and 2 credits of experiential credit in the spring which may be used toward a graduate degree. It is a paid internship with interns currently earning $2,400 per month. The program covers tuition and fees including student health insurance. The internship is expected to begin September 1, 2022 and continue through June 30, 2023.
For additional information and to apply, please see ILSIP website at http://go.uis.edu/ILSIP. Be sure to check out the recorded webinars related to Pursuing a Legislative Internship. Former Interns Share the Perks provides a great overview of the program from the intern perspective. ILSIP Application Q & A provides quick overview of the program and then focuses on the application process. For additional questions, reach out by phone at (217) 206-6579 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Barbara Van Dyke-Brown has served as director of the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program since 2003. She is the co-author of Lobbying Illinois: How You Can Make a Difference in Public Policy (2003) and editor of the Almanac of Illinois Politics (2002 and 2004). As adjunct faculty, she taught for multiple years, an undergraduate seminar for legislative interns as well as an online graduate course, Political Action and Advocacy, designed specifically for the master level educational leadership curriculum. Before coming to UIS in 2000, Barbara accumulated almost a decade of legislative experience as lobbyist, public policy coordinator, and legislative staff. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Illinois State University and her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Louisville. For Barbara, education, public service, and making a difference in the lives of others is a life-long pursuit.