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, and 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. After a period of training, attorneys are given certain telework privileges that are subsequently increased throughout the career of the attorney.
Each attorney must at all times remain impartial 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.
Full-time positions on the legal staff of the Office are filled by appointing individuals who are recent law school graduates or attorneys with legal experience. The Office has a small summer associate program, which the Office uses as a hiring program. The summer program is available to law students only during the summer of their second year in law school, which may lead to an offer of full-time employment upon completion of law school. The Office provides a modest stipend for summer associates. Unfortunately, the Office does not run an externship program during the school year. Each attorney must be admitted to practice in a State or the District of Columbia.
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), public transit benefits, and life insurance (through the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program). Employees receive paid annual and sick leave, and are eligible for parental leave. The House of Representatives student loan repayment plan is also available to help employees with college or law school debt.
Our office space is located in the Ford House Office Building, which is an accessible facility, and the Office is committed to diversity and inclusion. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or military status.
Persons interested in a 2L summer associate position or full-time employment as an attorney with our Office may contact us by sending an email 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, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least three references. Our Office will contact you if we wish to invite you to interview for a position. Persons interested in any position in our Office other than a 2L summer associate position or full-time employment as an attorney may contact us by sending an email to Tom.Dillon@mail.house.gov.