What do you do in Youth and Government? It depends on what you want to do!

  • Are you interested in learning more about issues that impact Illinois? Then look at being a Legislative Assistant.
  • Do you want to try to persuade someone to support an organization or cause that you believe in? Check out being a Lobbyist.
  • Is debating your interest? Research, write, and present a bill for debate by being a Legislator.
  • Are you maybe interested in the law? Our judicial program may be for you – see how to be an attorney or a clerk-bailiff.
  • Do you like to investigate, interview, or write? Want to be a newscaster? Look at our Media program for our newspaper and media content.
  • Think you want to go into politics? Give a speech? Get some leadership skills? Meet tons of people? Run for one of our leadership positions! More information on the leadership positions found here.

Who can be a Legislative Assistant?

Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors

What do Legislative Assistants do?

LAs participate in the State Issues Forum by picking an issue that is pertinent to Illinois, writing a proposal that outlines your opinion on the issue, and preparing an oral presentation for Assembly (a list of issues will be provided for you).

Legislative Assistants have leadership opportunities with offices such as Clerk of the House, Secretary of the Senate and others. You can learn more about the opportunities here.

Legislative Assistants Resources

Assembly Materials

Pre-Leg Materials

Pre-Leg II Materials

13232123494_a1a838a61f_oWho can be a Lobbyist?

Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

What do Lobbyists do?

Each Lobbyist does research to pick an organization to represent, drafts a legislative agenda advocating their organization’s position, track bills they are supporting or not supporting throughout the Legislative Process in Springfield, present written or oral testimony in committee, and try to influence legislation throughout the weekend. Lobbying activities are tracked and evaluated on a point system to determine the Most Effective Lobbyists.

Leadership Opportunities

Lobbyists can run for Executive Director of the Lobbyists and Assistant Directors of Lobbyists. Learn about these opportunities here.

Lobbyist Resources

Lobbyists receive detailed training at Pre-Legislative Conferences I and II, The following materials can help answer any questions and get you started.

Assembly Materials

Pre-Leg II Materials – Due November 19th

Draft Legislative Agenda Form. Please complete this with how you are completing your Legislative Agenda (complete as you are completing the template below). This will be used to evaluate your agendas for refining for Assembly. Due November 19th.

Draft Legislative Agenda Template. Please use this template and bring 20 copies to Pre-Leg II.

Pre-Leg I Materials:

  • Lobbyist Organization Worksheet – Each lobbyist should research three of the Lobbyists’ Organizations provided in the list in the Handbook. Complete this Lobbyist Organization Worksheet for just one of those organizations; make copies and bring to the first Pre-Legislative Conference for training and discussion.
  • Video – Want to see how a virtual mock committee works with Lobbyist testimony? Click here for videos – ask your Head Advisor for the password.

Who can be a Legislator?

Junior and Seniors

What do Legislators do?

Legislators work collaboratively in a bill group to come up an idea for legislation, doing research, and writing a bill and bill brief. The bill then goes through the process of being presented and debated in committee, and if passed then in front of the House and Senate, and if passed through both of those chambers, on to the Youth Governor for consideration.

Here is a video from our 2024 Youth Governor-Elect, Emerson Zhang How to be a Legislator for a perspective from someone who is an experienced legislator.

Leadership Opportunities

If you have a year experience in Youth and Government, legislators can run for Presiding Officers, Committee Chairs, Devotion Leaders, or the following officers for the next program year: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State. Find out more here.

Legislator Resources

ASSEMBLY RESOURCES 

PRE-LEG RESOURCES

  • Legislative Handbook
  • Pre-Leg Guide – Find out what you should do before, during and after both Pre-Leg sessions.
  • Writing Your Bill – Need an idea for a bill? Need help getting started writing? Start here.
  • When writing your bill, you can’t write one that was passed at our 2023 Assembly. Click HERE for a link to a list of our Passed bills for 2023, signed by Youth Governor Luke Fosdick.
  • Bill and Bill Brief Submittal Form.   All bill groups need to submit this form by October 20th. This information will be used to prepare for committees at the Pre-Legislative Conference I in November.
  • Bill and Bill Brief Template (Google) –  Please download and complete. For Pre-Legislative Conference I in November, please print and bring 25 copies to the session, to be handed out in committee.
  • Bill and Bill Brief Template (Word)Please download and complete. For Pre-Legislative Conference I in November, please print and bring 25 copies to the session, to be handed out in committee.
  • Videos – Need some more information on Parliamentary Procedure? Want to see a virtual mock Committee? Click here for videos – ask your Head Advisor for the password.

Who can be an Attorney?

Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

What do attorneys do?

Attorneys form teams, and through the process of an appellate court case. Each attorney team is required to write a bench memo, and present an oral argument at Assembly. Case materials and resources are provided.  Along with the oral argument, each attorney will serve as a justice overseeing a court. Additionally, attorneys participate in a Judicial Review process in which a passed bill from the Youth Legislature is debated as to its Constitutionality.

There is also an opportunity to participate in a Mock Trial, but it isn’t required.

Here is a video from our 2024 Youth Chief Justice-Elect Saniya Desai on “Who Wants to be an Attorney?” for a perspective from an experienced attorney.

Leadership Opportunities

Juniors who have participated a full year in Youth and Government can run for Chief Justice for the next program year. More information can be found here.

Judicial Resources 

Most or all of these materials will be distributed to you by your advisor if you are a judicial participant. If this isn’t the case, you will want a copy or have an electronic copy of the materials available to you for both Pre-Legislative Sessions. You may download all of your files here when they are available. If you have questions or need help, click HERE to contact a judicial volunteer by email.

Handbooks

Pre-Leg III Judicial Breakout Slides

Trial and Appeal Facts for each case – 2023-2024. 

Case A  – People vs Weaver

Case B People vs. McNeill

Who can be a Clerk-Bailiff?

Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors

What do Clerk-Bailiffs do?

During the year, Clerk-Bailiffs can assist a team of attorneys with research, practice with oral arguments, and writing the bench memo. At Assembly, they can participate with this team in oral arguments and brief writing. The clerk-bailiffs participates in the Clerk-Bailiff Forum; more information on the Forum can be found here. Clerk-Bailiffs also assist the Assistant Chief Justices in court with assisting with research, delivering messages as needed and taking attendance. Clerks are also teamed with an attorney team at the Springfield Assembly and may participate in oral arguments and brief writing.

Case A  – People vs Weaver

  • Case Summary Sheet

Leadership Opportunities

The winner of the Clerk-Bailiff Forum will be named Head Clerk Bailiff.

14360252400_edecebd93a_hWho can be on the Press Corps staff?

Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors

What does the Press Corps do?

The ins and outs of the Youth and Government program are covered by the members of the Press. Reporters write stories on legislation, candidates, trials, and special interests before, during, and after the  Assembly. These stories are published as The Observer, through our social media channels and uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Leadership Opportunities:

There will be three regional editors and one overall Editor selected for Press Corps this year. Application can be found here.

Press Resources – 

  • Press Handbook – This guide will give an overview of the Press Corp

Check out our newspaper The Observer here.

Our video news shows can be found on our YouTube Channel here.

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