Legislative Affairs Intern

Policy · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Policy
Employment Type Intern
Compensation Paid

Title:  Legislative Affairs Intern

Type:  Fall Internship {September 13th thru December 10th}

Supervisor:  Policy Manager

Location:  Washington, DC

Last Day to Apply: August 24, 2021

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance is the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. We envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights; in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes against others; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug misuse and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

DPA is home to a passionate, diverse, and creative team at a critical time for the drug policy reform movement in the United States. U.S. leaders are now doubling down on the war on drugs, using it as a tool to stoke fear in society and rally their base, and as an excuse to lock up or deport people of color and immigrants. Tens of thousands of people are dying from opioid overdoses, with little meaningful response by the federal government. At the same time, we are seeing state and local governments taking action, increasingly legalizing marijuana, passing Good Samaritan laws, and even exploring safe consumption sites. Public opinion, too, is increasingly in our favor, with ever-larger numbers of people supporting alternatives to current policies of prohibition and criminalization. In this context, DPA’s expertise on drug policy, rigorous analysis, and strong, principled voice stand to make an enormous difference in shaping public opinion and policy, and ultimately making a concrete difference to the lives of millions in the U.S. and beyond.

In addition to the New York headquarters, DPA has to a total of five offices, including, California, New Mexico, D.C, and Ithaca NY, 50 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, 25,000 dues-paying members and more than 300,000 online subscribers.  It has a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. 

For more information, please visit our website at www.drugpolicy.org.

The Position

DPA’s Office of National Affairs (ONA) seeks a Legislative Affairs Intern for the Spring 2020 semester. Applicants should either be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, or have received their degree within one year of the start date of the applicable internship semester. Interns will work closely with staff to research policy issues, develop issue briefs, analyze federal legislation and assist with administrative work. Interns and their supervisor will work together to create a regular work schedule with a minimum of 24 hours per week. Interns are encouraged to work more than 24 hours per week if they are willing and able, and many interns opt to do so. We will be happy to work with students to obtain credit towards coursework.

Primary Responsibilities

• Conducting policy research on a variety of topics and issues

• Writing memos, briefs, summaries and letters on the basis of in-office research

• Conducting research for policy development purposes

• Editing and proofreading

• Lobbying activities

• Some administrative tasks (e.g. running errands, photocopying, assembling packets, answering the general phone line during peak times)

• Other general, unspecified support for ONA staff


The ideal candidate will have:

• Strong research, writing, and communication skills

• Effective problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to multi-task without constant supervision

• Desire and ability to work in a self-starter organization

• Interest in drug policy reform

• Prior experience in policy research and administrative affairs is preferred but not required


 The internship pays $15/hour up to 25 hours if not eligible for school credit.


Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Application Process

Please submit your application with a cover letter, resume, contact information for at least two professional references and brief (2-4 page) writing sample (applicable to drug policy reform when possible).

Students who do not receive school credit or financial support (e.g., stipend) for this position are eligible to receive $15.00 per hour compensation.

No phone calls, please. We will only contact candidates who are under consideration.

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation, or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation