Fact Checked

How do I Become a Legislative Aide?

Ken Black
Ken Black

Although there is a great deal of competition to become a legislative aide, a number of things can be done to improve your chances. First, consider volunteering in other political capacities, such as with local legislative or congressional campaigns. Also, make sure you have good grades in school. The process to become a legislative aide often starts with a complimentary recommendation from a teacher. Though any teacher may do, a government or civics teacher may provide some additional leverage.

In order to get a recommendation from an instructor, you will need to make good grades. Often, anyone wanting to become a legislative aide will need to authorize or provide a transcript for the legislator to look over. While some may not require absolutely stellar grades to be any sort of legislative assistant, it can only help. It is also helpful if you tend to have a good attendance record and no disciplinary marks against you.

Competition for legislative aide positions in Congress is intense.
Competition for legislative aide positions in Congress is intense.

Typically, even a high school student may be able to become a legislative aide. You will likely either need to be a junior or senior and have permission from a parent or guardian. It may also be helpful if you have your own driver's license, just in case you need to arrange your own transportation to and from various locations. Although it is easier to become a legislative aide if you are in or near a capital city, some legislators may be able to provide access to living arrangements, if you live out of the area.

Though being a legislative aide can be a very educational experience in and of itself, you will still likely need to keep up with school work, if you are a student. You may be able to work ahead or make up some classes during the summer, but you may also need to take self-study courses. Thus, your school will likely need assurances that you will have enough study time, and that you are a disciplined enough student to work on these courses independently.

Getting a recommendation from a teacher provides yet another benefit. If a teacher is willing to put his or her name on a piece of paper vouching for your character, work ethic, and skill, that often means a great deal. Some legislators, if they have been in office long enough, may even build up a trust relationship with a certain teachers.

The other suggestion is to volunteer with a local political party or legislative campaign. Often, this is a way to get to know the candidate very well, especially at the state level. Then, if that person is elected, you may be in a better position to ask for a favor. While volunteering with a political party or campaign is not necessary, it shows that you are engaged in the political process and committed to it.

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    • Competition for legislative aide positions in Congress is intense.
      By: Joe Gough
      Competition for legislative aide positions in Congress is intense.