Nearly 20 years ago, Anne Arundel Community College began participating in the Maryland General Assembly’s Legislative Internship Program. Students enrolled in Anne Arundel Community College are eligible to apply. Students should have a minimum 3.0 cumulative average and proof of competency in college composition. Many of the interns are political science majors; however, students working for degrees in other areas, who are interested in learning first-hand about the process of state government, are encouraged to apply.
Each year during the session of the Maryland General Assembly, one hundred students are given the opportunity to serve as legislative interns. Upon acceptance into the program, students interview for placement with legislators, committees or caucuses of the Maryland General Assembly (MGA).
The General Assembly meets annually for a period of 90 calendar days, beginning the second Wednesday in January and continuing through early April. During the initial months, the busiest days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with few or no committee hearings scheduled for Mondays or Fridays. Most legislators would like their interns to work the three days from Tuesday through Thursday or full-time. However, realizing the demands of college scheduling, the General Assembly accepts students who are only able to work two days per week.
During the months of September and October, the Program Coordinator at AACC, Dr. Dan Nataf markets the internship by visiting students enrolled in political science and paralegal courses. The program is competitive.
Applications need to be received by the Maryland General Assembly Internship Coordinator by October 31. Placements are made during the Fall semester by Dr. Nataf. The type of work assigned to interns is mainly legislative, although some duties are clerical in nature. The legislative responsibilities may include conducting research; drafting correspondence; preparing, recording and reporting testimony; contacting witnesses; attending committee hearings; tracking bills; working on mailings; handling constituent problems; and writing newsletters.
Three academic credits are granted by AACC for the internship. In addition, students may take a 3-credit orientation course during the Fall semester, which is designed to prepare them for the internship.
Each intern is awarded a stipend to help defray the cost of participating in the program. The total stipend varies, depending on the number of days per week the intern works in Annapolis.
- $500/session = 2 days/week
- $600/session = 3 days/week
- $900/session = 4-5 days/week
Since the Legislature does not take any holidays during its 90-day session, interns are required to commit themselves to a weekly work schedule and to take no holidays or spring break.
Several years ago, AACC interns started choosing between working within the legislature or outside the legislature. As a result, some students have chosen to intern with the Maryland State Teachers Association, major law firms with a substantial lobbying practice, the Office of the Anne Arundel County Executive, trade associations, lobbyists in private practice, State Executive Department agencies, and local government.
Interested students should contact Dr. Dan Nataf, the College’s Legislative Internship Program Coordinator, shortly after Labor Day, by e-mail: email@example.com or by calling 410-777-2733.