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 TV show.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

14360252400_edecebd93a_hWho can be on the Newspaper staff?

Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors

What does the Newspaper staff do?

The ins and outs of the Youth and Government program are covered by the members of the Newspaper 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

Leadership Opportunities:

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

Leadership Opportunities

Producer (usually two Co-Producers). More information can be found .here