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Posted September 26, 2023


Policy Associate

Hybrid/Denver, Colo.

$56,113 annually

Posted March 30, 2023

Intern/Externship – Various Programs

Denver, Colo. or Washington D.C.

When funding permits, up to $17.29 p/hour.

Full Time (On-site)


Job Overview

NCSL intern/externships provide students an opportunity to gain workplace skills while learning about a variety of public policy areas that impact state legislatures.  The individual will have responsibility for tracking state legislative bills, analyzing and reporting on legislation, performing policy research, responding to requests for information, assisting with meetings for constituents, writing policy publications, collecting information about current events related to assigned topics, supporting and maintaining web resources, collaborating with other NCSL staff, and other duties as assigned.

This opportunity covers a range of policy topics in the assigned program and requires a person who is able to juggle multiple tasks and topics efficiently. It also requires the ability to work both independently and as part of a team across projects and program areas within NCSL, as well as excellent written and oral communication skills to interact with a wide variety of audiences. 


Specific Projects/Tasks

  • Fielding, researching, and responding to information requests;
  • Tracking and summarizing state legislation for online publications for members;
  • Updating web-based resources and policy documents;
  • Special project research or writing opportunities;
  • Performing administrative duties and providing general support for program staff;
  • Support with planning, logistics, and preparing materials for meetings and other NCSL events;
  • Using online resources, Statenet, LexisNexis, WestLaw, and other available databases to collect and monitor data;
  • Assisting with drafting issue briefs and other written deliverables.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Learning Outcomes

NCSL intern/externships are designed for mutual benefit—students get hands—on legislative/policy experience, including extensive research and writing opportunities while NCSL is positioned to continue offering the highest quality research and analysis to its members quickly and efficiently. A primary function of this position is to assist with legislative tracking and research requests, which allows the intern/extern to learn about program-specific policy issues. In addition, certain programs may offer interns/externs research projects or writing opportunities in their selected field. Interns/externs are mentored by leading program staff in carrying out their specific tasks and are provided resources and guidance throughout their partnership with NCSL.


Qualified candidates should be currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree or graduate program or in a short waiting period between undergrad and graduate programs/law school and bar admittance. Candidates should possess strong computer and research experience and demonstrate skill and competence in writing clearly, communicating effectively and organizing complex assignments.

Work Environment

This position is mostly performed in an office environment, on or off-site, with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.  Team members utilize standard office equipment such as copy machines, laptops, printers, scanners, and smartphones. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.


NCSL offers flexible, variable-hour intern/externships in a variety of programs and policy areas. These areas include:

  • Children and Families

  • Health

  • Center for Legislative Strengthening

  • Operations

  • Environment, Energy, & Transportation

  • State Federal Affairs/D.C.

  • Public Affairs/Communication

  • Criminal & Civil Justice

  • Elections & Redistricting

  • Legislative Staff Services

  • State Tribal Institute

  • Fiscal

  • Leaders & Training

  • Education

Hours typically range between 15-25 hours per week during the school year and full-time opportunities may be available in the summer for up to 12 weeks. Intern/externships may be paid or unpaid depending on availability. When funding permits, NCSL will pay up to $17.29 p/hour on a biweekly basis. Many colleges and universities provide academic credit for intern/externships. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their advisor and obtain academic credit within the institution’s guidelines. Intern/externs are not eligible for NCSL benefits but may be eligible for accrued sick leave. 

About the Organization

Are you ready to join an organization with an extraordinary mission? The National Conference of State Legislatures offers intern/externship opportunities where you can use your skills, knowledge, and experience to truly make a difference. NCSL’s mission is purposeful – strengthening the legislative institution. From informing effective policies and promoting communication among state legislatures, to ensure states have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system, our team works in service of legislatures. And, with a commitment to constantly innovating all resources and services to meet the evolving needs of members, NCSL has earned the reputation as the nation’s most trusted bipartisan membership organization for legislators and legislative staff. Our success in serving NCSL members relies on our team of passionate, dedicated professionals who work diligently to strengthen the legislative institution. Join our team and contribute to this unique, essential mission.

How to Apply

We gladly invite you to apply online for this role by including a resume and cover letter. Learn more about working with NCSL by visiting our careers page. We are looking forward to receiving your application!

NCSL is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to developing a diverse, dynamic team and inclusive workplace. NCSL does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, disability, or any other status protected by law or regulation.

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