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 video productions.
- 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
- Legislative Assistant & State Issues Forum Summary – An overview of the responsibilities of Legislative Assistants (LAs)
- Legislative Assistant Handbook – NOTE: Handbook is being updated; Forum Topics are being finalized. The full guide to teach you all you need to know about being a Legislative Assistant, and will describe all the offices that are available for Legislative Assistants to run for.
- State Issues Forum Topics – Here is the list of topics to choose from for 2022-2023.
- 2022-2023 Final State Issues Forum Proposal All LAs need to submit this form. Final version of the proposal is due January 20, 2023.
Who 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.
Lobbyists can run for Executive Director of the Lobbyists and Assistant Directors of Lobbyists. Learn about these opportunities here.
Lobbyists receive detailed training at Pre-Leg 1 & 2, The following materials can help answer any questions and get you started.
- Lobbyist Legislative Agenda – The final version of this form will be due January 20, 2023.
- Special Committee Bill or Special Resolution – Use these forms to submit a bill or resolution for special committees at the Assembly. March 4 is the final date a Special Committee Bill will be accepted for publication in the Assembly Billbook.
- 2023 Lobbyist Witness Slip – This form is used for Assembly. More information will be forthcoming regarding the Slip process.
- 2023 Lobbyist Activity Worksheet – This form is used for Assembly. More information will be forthcoming regarding the Activity process.
- Lobbyist Organization Worksheet – Each lobbyist is to submit this form and upload it HERE to Airtable. It is due October 30, and it will be discussed at the first Pre-Legislative Session.
- 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.
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.
- 2022-2023 Final Bill and Bill Brief Submittal Form. Use this form to submit your bill for Pre-Legislative session. Form is due by January 20, 2023. All bill groups need to submit a final version of their bill so that we know this is the correct version for Springfield. There is information on the form to complete, and each bill group will need to upload their version of the bill they would like to have on Airtable.
- Bill and Bill Brief Template – Use this template when writing your bill and your bill brief. Upload a version to HERE Airtable when completing the bill/bill brief form. Please have it either in a google doc, word or PDF; don’t submit a link though — doesn’t seem to upload properly, and has a time limit to open link.
- Prepare for Assembly – How to prepare yourself and your bill for Assembly
- Bill Prep Checklist – Your debate points for your bill all in one place
- Debate Guide – How to get the floor and what to say after you get it
- Legislative Handbook – Your guide to all things about serving as a Legislator.
- 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 2022 Assembly. Click HERE for a link to a list of our Passed bills for 2022, signed by Youth Governor Aayush Gupta.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Trial Handbook – PDF
- Appeal Handbook – PDF
- Clerk Bailiff Handbook – PDF
Trial and Appeal Facts for each case, the cited cases for each case (by issue) are below.
Case A – People v Wilson
- Trial Facts
- Appeal Facts
- Case Law
- Case A-Wilson 2022-23 Appellee-Plaintiff cover page template
- Case A-Wilson 2022-23 Appellant-Defendant cover page template
Case B – People v Archer
- Trial Facts
- Appeal FactsCase Law
- Case B-Archer 2022-23 Appellee-Plaintiff cover page template
- Case B-Archer 2022-23 Appellant cover page template
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 v Wilson
The winner of the Clerk-Bailiff Forum will be named Head Clerk Bailiff.
Who 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 each of the three days of the Assembly in The Observer as well as online, through our social media channels and uploaded to our YouTube channel.
Editor-in-Chief (usually two or three co-editors). More information can be found here.
Social Media Editor
- Press Handbook – This guide will give an overview of both the Newspaper and Video Press. (Handbook will be updated shortly)
Check out our newspaper The Observer here.
Our video news shows can be found on our YouTube Channel here.