Our Office assists the United States House of Representatives, and its committees and Members, in drafting legislation and performing related legal functions. The subject matter dealt with in the Office is as broad and varied as is the field of Federal legislation. The legal issues encountered in furnishing this assistance involve constitutional, statutory, or administrative law questions, as well as questions in other fields of Federal law.
The typical legislative proposal starts with a problem requiring a legislative solution. The attorney assigned to the project must gain a clear understanding of (1) the problem, including the factual and legal setting (often complex) in which it arises, and (2) the intended legislative solution. This process ordinarily involves (sometimes extensive) consultation with the proponent. Work being performed for a committee on a bill may also require the attorney’s attendance at the sessions of a subcommittee, of the full committee, and of a committee of conference between the House and the Senate.
The ability to write accurately and clearly is essential for attorneys working in our Office, as is the ability to analyze complex problems and handle difficult situations as they arise with judgment, tact, and discretion. Office hours and vacation schedules are entirely dependent on the schedule of the House of Representatives which, at times, can be unpredictable.
Each attorney must at all times maintain an impartial attitude with respect to the policies to be incorporated into a legislative proposal. He or she is concerned with the legislative policy only for the purpose of making sure that the bill, resolution, or amendment accurately reflects the policy of the committee or Member for whom it is being drafted.
Positions on the legal staff of the Office are filled by appointing attorneys who are recent law school graduates. Some, but not all, of these attorneys may have served as summer interns in the Office during the summer of their second year in law school. Each attorney must be admitted to practice in a State or the District of Columbia. Promotions are made as the individuals gain experience and demonstrate their abilities.
Our Office also has a small paralegal and clerical staff to assist the attorneys and to perform functions ancillary to its principal mission. Appointments to all positions in the Office are made without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of fitness to perform the work. The Legislative Counsel, who is appointed by the Speaker of the House, appoints and fixes the compensation of the other personnel of the Office, subject to the approval of the Speaker.
Benefits include retirement (through the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, the Thrift Savings Plan, and Social Security), health insurance (through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program), and life insurance (through the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program). A modest student loan repayment plan is also available to help employees with college or law school debt.
Persons interested in employment with our Office may contact us by sending an e-mail to HOLC.Hiring@mail.house.gov that includes a cover letter, a resume, a legal writing sample of no more than 10 pages, a copy of the candidate’s law school transcript, and the names and telephone numbers of at least three references. Our Office will contact you if we wish to invite you to interview for a position.