Legislative Affairs Intern

Policy · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Policy
Employment Type Intern
Minimum Experience Entry-level
Compensation Unpaid

Title:  Legislative Affairs Intern

Type: Summer Internship August 31st -Dec 11th (15 weeks) 

Supervisor:  Policy Manager

Location:  Washington, DC

Last Day to Apply:   Priority deadline is August 2nd but will continue to review applications beyond deadline if no qualified candidate has been identified.


Drug Policy Alliance


The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) 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; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. 


DPA has more than 50 staff in New York, California, New Mexico, and Washington, DC; 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 Legislative Affairs Intern will join our 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.


The Position

DPA’s Office of National Affairs (ONA) seeks a Legislative Affairs Intern for the Fall 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



This internship is unpaid; local commuter benefit may be available.


Application Process


Please submit in a single document, a cover letter, resume, contact information for at least two professional references and brief (2-4 page) writing sample at https://drugpolicy.bamboohr.com/jobs . Please only send Word or Adobe Acrobat files. Do not compress or zip files.


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

The Drug Policy Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. DPA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, ethnicity, personal appearance, political affiliation, family responsibility, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.



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