About the Program
What Sort of Work Do Interns Do?
The majority of our interns are assigned to work with individual legislators as support staff, in the House and Senate Democrats and House and Senate Republican offices of the Connecticut General Assembly. Duties for a Legislative Intern will vary from office to office, but can include:
- bill tracking and analysis
- policy research
- drafting of news releases, research reports, and testimony
- liaison work
- constituent casework
- committee support
- social media
- administrative functions
Click here to see the job description for our Legislative Interns.
Who is Eligible?
All undergraduate students enrolled and matriculated in an accredited undergraduate degree program at a two or four year institution of higher education in the state. Those already holding a Bachelor's Degree are not eligible for formal program participation.
Connecticut residents attending out-of-state colleges are eligible to apply, but should contact us directly prior to application to the program.
Minimum program qualifications include:
- 18 years of age or older by January program start
- 20 credits completed by January program start (no more than 3 AP credits can be counted towards this minimum)
- minimum 2.7 grade point average (at time of application)
- registered for a course (varies by institution) in order to receive credit for the internship
While our program requirements are listed above, each academic institution has their own qualifications and requirements for program participation. Please contact your on-campus liaison (see list here) to discuss you school's requirements.
Schedule and Academic Credit Hours
The Legislative Internship Program runs from January to May, corresponding with the spring academic semester and the Legislative Session of the Connecticut General Assembly. Any student applying for the program must be willing to commit to the entire program, from January to May.
Every intern is required to be enrolled full time and matriculated in an accredited undergraduate degree program and registered in a field work or internship course. The specific amount of credit granted to each student differs based on hours of service and school. To find out how many hours of credit you may obtain by participating in this program, please contact your campus liaison (see list here).
The Internship begins with a required two-day Orientation Program and students must attend the entire orientation to participate in the legislative placement. For the 2024 session, LIP Orientation will be Thursday, Jan. 18 and Friday, Jan 19 , 2024 from 8:30-5 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Interns work an 8-hour day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A 30-minute lunch break on the premises is included within the 8-hour day. Both full-time and part-time internships are available. Students who choose a part-time schedule work Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday for a total of 16 hours per week for 14 weeks. Full time interns work Mon-Friday, 8 hours per day for a total of 40 hours per week for 14 weeks. Part-time interns must accrue a minimum of 200 verified field work hours.
Required Academic Work
Every student participating in the Legislative Internship Program is required to complete academic work in addition to their legislative work assignments, trainings, workshops and field trips.
You will be assigned:
- 1 three-part bill tracking research project (10-12 pages total)
- 1 example of legislative writing
- 1 interview summary with questions (3-5 pages)
- 1 reflection paper
Further explanation of assignments and support will be offered during the program. Your college or university may also require academic work in addition to the academic work of the Legislative Internship Program. You should discuss all of the academic requirements including the academic requirements of the Legislative Internship when you meet with your campus liaison.
In addition to your legislative placement work and required academic work, interns will be offered optional career development workshops, forums, field trips and programs throughout the legislative session.
Mock Session – Interns role-play a legislative session in the House Chambers during the second half of the program. The mock session process starts with each intern choosing a caucus group (Democrats or Republicans). Caucus groups meet to elect leaders (Speaker of the House, clerk, majority and minority leaders, etc.) Each caucus group works together to choose bills that they will debate in their session. Interns meet weekly in their caucus groups to research, discuss their caucus strategies and arguments. Some interns may perform functions such as learning the rules of order or handling technology to run the vote during session.
Field Trips - Interns may have the opportunity to visit Connecticut state agencies, Connecticut businesses, the State Supreme Court, Old State House and outside organizations to provide context for the legislative issues they see unfold during the session.
The Connecticut General Assembly Internship Program is administered by the statutorily created Committee on Legislative Staff Internships (CGS-2-84), along with the Internship Committee Director.
The Committee is a bi-partisan body with bi-partisan co-chairs, who alternate between the respective houses in each successive term. Their principal responsibility is the development and oversight of Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) internship program and policies. The Committee conducts all intern interviews and is responsible for intern assignment within the four caucuses. (See Selection and Placement below)
Since 1980, the Committee has retained the services of an administrator to serve as Director. The Director is responsible for the implementation of the Committee’s policies, administration and facilitation of the Legislative Internship Program (LIP), coordination and council of interns, as well as monitoring and reporting on intern performance and evaluation.
Selection and Placement
Selection is made by the Committee on Legislative Staff Internships. The Committee will interview candidates and decide who will be offered an internship for the coming legislative session. A workable and mutually beneficial relationship between legislator and intern is a major goal of the interview process. Offers will be communicated to applicants in December following interviews.
Although students from all disciplines are considered, preference is given to upperclassmen, and students whose experience and academic background offer some preparation for the work they will undertake. In addition, some consideration is given to contributions which the applicant has made to his or her college and community, as well as the applicability of the internship to future career goals.
The Selection and Placement timeline is as follows
August - October:
Meet with your campus liaison
Prepare your application materials
On-Line Application opens
Late November/Early December:
Interviews held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford
Offers to participate are extended to students
Students have one week to respond with their acceptance or rejection
Legislator assignments are announced
Mandatory two day orientation - students must attend both days
Placements officially begin (week following Orientation)