The Oregon Legislative Assembly

Students will be asked to work as an intern in the state capitol for at least one day a week (8 hours a week) during the winter and spring quarters. In general, I would like all students to work with a member of the House or Senate. I may allow some students to work in other types of positions in the capitol, though I would prefer you work in a legislator's office.

Once you have been accepted by a legislator as an intern, I need a statement from your supervisor acknowledging that you are interning and outlining your duties. Often students write these statements themselves and then ask their supervisor to sign them. You also need to provide me with the name of your supervisor and his/her phone number. I will distribute a form that can be used to submit this information. The form can also be accessed on line at

As an intern, you are likely to be asked to handle all the traditional duties of a legislative staff person, including answering phone calls, filing information, doing constituency service, tracking legislation, and conducting research. The legislator may ask you to do other activities as well, including monitoring particular committees, helping organize town hall meetings, or working on a newsletter. It is always interesting if you get the opportunity to trail your legislator through the course of a legislative day. The internship is particularly valuable, however, if you can attach yourself to some substantive issue before the legislature. I don't want you to just be answering the phone and filing newspaper articles. If that happens, you need to assert yourself. Ask the legislator if you can work on a special project, such as conducting research or keeping track of a major bill.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that you are there to help the legislator. Don't just sit and wait to be told what to do. Try to figure out ways you can be helpful and dive in.

Finding an Internship
After the November election, I will be working with individual legislators, staff members, and the party caucuses to find internship opportunities. If you do not have any idea for whom you would like to work, I will talk with you about your interests and then give you a lead on where to apply. It will then be your responsibility to contact the lead to apply for the internship. In most cases, the process is just like applying for a job: after you contact the lead, you will be asked to send a resume and references. If all looks okay, you will be asked in for an interview. Occasionally, the first lead doesn't work out. If so, I will redirect you elsewhere. In a few cases, I may have to go to bat for you (especially if you are trying to get hired by a legislative leader), but usually it isn't necessary. Most legislators want interns and they will be eager to hear from you.

If you do have an idea for where to apply, don't hesitate to approach the legislator's office on your own without clearing it with me. Just call the legislator's office, let them know you are a PSU student and would like to intern with them. Then ask them how to apply. All I ask is that you let me know where you are applying, so I have good records on who is applying where.

If you are able to set up your internship prior to the winter quarter, it will make the beginning of the quarter go more smoothly. However, there is ample time after the quarter begins to secure an internship.

Travel to Salem
In years past, we have had some money available to help reimburse students for travel on the days they commute to Salem. I am currently working to find money again this year. I am optimistic that we will have some. I encourage everyone to try to carpool whenever possible to conserve gas and our limited funds. Carpooling also gives you a chance to share experiences with other students in the class. Travel reimbursement forms are available in my office.

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