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 is 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 – 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 – this is also in the handbook.
  • State Issues Forum Proposal All LAs need to submit this form. Deadline is November 19th. It will be evaluated and discussed at the second Pre-Legislative Session. Final version of the proposal is due January 14th. Any changes to be done, please use this form for revisions.

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-Leg 1 & 2, The following materials can help answer any questions and get you started

  • Lobbyist Handbook – The Lobbyist Handbook will be updated shortly.
  • Lobbyist Organization Worksheet – Each lobbyist is to submit this form. It is due October 30, and it will be discussed at the first Pre-Legislative Session.
  • Lobbyist Legislative Agenda – Each lobbyist is to submit this form. It is due November 19. The agenda will be evaluated at the second Pre-Legislative Session. A final version of this form will be due January 14, 2022. Any changes to be done, please use this link for the revisions.
  • Special Committee Bill or Special Resolution – Use these forms to submit a bill or resolution for special committees at the Assembly. February 1 is the final date a Special Committee Bill will be accepted for publication in the Assembly Billbook. Special Committee Bills may be submitted after February 1, but will only be accessible in Airtable.
  • Lobbyist Slip – This form is used for Assembly. More information will be forthcoming regarding the Slip process. This will be a google form to be completed.
  • Lobbyist Activity Worksheet – This form is used for Assembly. More information will be forthcoming regarding the Activity process. This will be a google form to be completed.
  • Video – Want to see how a virtual mock committee works with Lobbyist testimony? Click here for videos – ask your Head Advisor for the password.
  • This is the Final 2020-2021 Lobbyist Handbook. You can look at it for reference until the revisions have been made for 2021-2022.

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.

Leadership Opportunities

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

Legislator Resources

  • Legislative Handbook – Your guide to all things about serving as a Legislator. Note: Handbook will be updated for this year shortly.
  • 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 2021 Assembly. Click HERE for a link to a list of our Passed bills for 2021, signed by Youth Governor David Surzykiewicz, Lake Park High School
  • Bill and Bill Brief Submittal Form. Use this form to submit your bill and bill brief. You will also use this link for any revisions to your bill or bill brief during the year. First submittals need to be done by October 15.
  • Pre-Leg Guide – Find out what you should do before, during and after both Pre-Leg sessions.
  • Prepare for Assembly – How to prepare yourself and your bill for Assembly
  • Debate Guide – How to get the floor and what to say after you get it
  • 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.

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. If you have questions or need help, click HERE to contact a judicial volunteer by email.


Trial and Appeal Facts for each case, the cited cases for each case (by issue) and the Trial and Clerk Bailiff Handbooks are updated;  Appeal Handbook will be updated shortly.

Case A – People v Taylor

Case B – Trial and Appeal Materials and Case LawCase B

Case B People v Fletcher

This is the 2020-2021 Appeal Handbook . You can look at it for reference until the revisions have been made for 2021-2022.

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.

Leadership Opportunities

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

  • This is the Clerk-Bailiff Handbook . You can look at it for reference until the revisions have been made for 2021-2022.

14360252400_edecebd93a_hWho can be on the Press Corps staff?

Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors

What does the Press Corp 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.

Leadership Opportunities:

Editor-in-Chief (usually two or three co-editors). More information can be found here.

Social Media Editor

Press Resources

  • 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.

477Who can work on the Video staff?

Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

What does the Video staff do?

Students shoot video, conduct interviews, write stories, and produce segments for clips and shows available on our YouTube channel.