Legal Services Staff Section Overview
LSSS At A Glance
The only national legal professional organization dedicated to the needs of legislative attorneys and other paralegal legislative staff.
All employees of member legislatures of the NCSL who are involved in bill drafting, legal research, statutory and administrative rule compilation and publication, administrative rules review, litigation, and other legal services are members of LSSS.
The LSSS meets annually in conjunction with NCSL's Legislative Summit and sponsors a fall training seminar with a track exclusively for legal staff.
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Video: Douglas Himes, Legislative Attorney V, Tennessee Office of Legal Services talks about the value of the Legal Services Staff Section.
Purposes of LSSS
To provide a national forum for the discussion of how legal services staff can better serve their legislatures,
To provide a national forum for the recognition of the contributions of legal staff to the legislative process,
To improve legislative legal services and skills,
To improve communication among legislative staff.
Since 1982, the LSSS has played an important role in legislative staff development. As the only national forum for legislative legal services, the LSSS provides a venue for the discussion of how legal services staff can better serve their legislatures and recognizes the important contributions of legal staff to the legislative process. Through meetings and discussions, the LSSS provides training and support to improve legislative legal services and improves communication among legislative staff.
The Legal Services Staff Section is dedicated to fostering professional development and communication through the National Conference of State Legislatures among legislative employees who provide bill drafting, legal research, legal editing, and other legal services for their legislative clients.
Membership of LSSS
Under the bylaws establishing LSSS, all employees of member legislatures of the NCSL who are involved in bill drafting, legal research, statutory and administrative rule compilation and publication, administrative rules review, litigation, and other legal services are members of LSSS. It constitutes the only national legal professional organization dedicated to the needs of legislative attorneys and other paralegal legislative staff. Members include attorneys, paralegals, support staff and others who are engaged in bill drafting, code revision, legal research, administrative rules review, litigation, statutory or administrative rule compilation and publication, redistricting, and other legal services.
LSSS is governed by an ten-member Executive Committee elected at the annual business meeting held in conjunction with NCSL's annual meeting. All members of LSSS are entitled to participate in all of the section's activities and to vote at its annual business meeting. A five-member Nominating Committee is appointed each year to report a slate of candidates to the annual business meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the business meeting. The staff section also has its own bylaws, which were adopted in 1982 and last amended in 2004.
What does LSSS do for me?
Sponsors professional development seminars, webinars, and other e-learning opportunities that provide continuing legal education in policy and process, enabling you to better serve your legislature.
Sponsors several educational sessions at NCSL's legislative summit including sessions eligible for continuing legal education credit in many states.
Maintains two listservs (legal and editors) to provide instant assistance from colleagues across the country and around the globe.
Publishes The Legislative Lawyer (online) containing up-to-date legislative news from around the country.
Maintains a website devoted to the separation of powers, with sections on appropriations, executive veto, legislative oversight, and legislative immunity.
Provides a password-protected collaboration site where members can share documents and information, including a library of legislative drafting manuals that are not otherwise available online.
Sponsors legislative editors’ training conferences for legislative staff engaged in codification and other editorial functions.
How can I become involved in LSSS?
Becoming more involved in the staff section is easy. Fresh faces and new ideas are always welcome. And, there are many ways to participate, including:
Committees: The staff section has several committees, including the Program Committee and Outreach Committee, on which you can volunteer to serve. Travel is not required to be involved in the LSSS. Most committee and staff section business is handled by teleconference or e-mail.
Website: LSSS uses a website to provide important information, meeting dates, and research tools.
Listserv: The LSSS listservs are a great opportunity to monitor current trends and topics. Whether you participate by asking, reading or answering, you'll enjoy the spirited and informative discussions.
Newsletter: Update your colleagues on important issues in your state by submitting an article to The Legislative Lawyer.
Meetings: Why not participate in person by attending the fall professional development seminar or the NCSL legislative summit. Current meetings.
LSSS produces the following two publications:
The Legislative Lawyer -- A periodical newsletter that describes legal services activities in the states and litigation that involves state legislatures and state government.
Legal Services Key Contacts -- This online database provides the key legal services contacts in all 50 states.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is the parent organization of the Legal Services Staff Section (LSSS)
One of the purposes of NCSL is to improve the knowledge and effectiveness of legislative staff and to encourage the practice of high standards of personal and professional conduct by staff. This purpose of NCSL is partially fulfilled through the creation and activities of the LSSS. It is one of ten staff sections organized under the NCSL umbrella. The other nine staff sections relate to research and committee staff, leadership staff, legislative clerks and secretaries, fiscal officers, program evaluation staff, legislative research librarians, security staff, computer applications staff and public information officers. LSSS is organized and conducts its activities in accordance with NCSL policy and procedures. LSSS first adopted its bylaws in 1982.
For more information:
contact Kae Warnock, NCSL Liaison to the Legal Services Staff Section. Phone: 303/856-1553