Legislative Branch

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This branch of government includes offices responsible for drafting and passing federal or state legislation. At the federal level, every member of Congress has his or her individual staff, which generally includes a Chief of Staff (usually an experienced lawyer with years of Capitol Hill or lobbying experience), a Legislative Director (also an experienced lawyer), several Legislative Assistants (often entry-level lawyers or college graduates), Legislative Correspondents (usually people with bachelor’s degrees), Office Assistants (clerical staff), and Clerks/Interns. If the Congress member is a ranking member or chair of a committee, he/she may also have a lawyer on staff who is a specialist in the area the committee covers (e.g., labor, defense, or the environment). In addition, the various Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives have legal staffs called Committee Counsel.

At the state level, there are non-partisan staff attorneys who help draft legislation, render legal advice regarding proposed legislation, and investigate matters of interest to legislators or committee members. Attorneys working at the legislative level gain valuable experience working with the political process, dealing with policy-making and the drafting of bills, and advising elected officials.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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