2 answers

I want to become a lobbyist, tips?

Updated Bloomington, Indiana

My first well-paying job was at a machine shop which specializes in turbines and pumps. So, naturally, I fell in love with the manufacturing industry; however, I have always had interest in government. I thought how I could connect my two interests and a career in the environmental seemed like a good idea. I am currently a sophomore at Indiana University studying Environmental Management, and I want to be a lobbyist.

Now, before I start, I realize there is multiple ways to become a lobbyist. Here is my plan (after college):

First, I want industry experience. I believe starting out in the private sector will provide me with a different point of view. I will be able to know exactly how these environmental policies affect our industry and how to debate my side of the argument effectively. Now, law school is definitely in the question. When do I go? After college? Should I work in the field first? Do I even really need law school? It would be very beneficial... Lets just say, I don't go to law school. Now, here is my dilemma. I have the knowledge of the industry. How do I network with these officials? What groups do I join? What internships do I look for? Basically, how do I become a lobbyist? Once I have established myself, I plan to gain knowledge in, and lobby for, other issues.

What is the best course of action, given my plans, going forward?

I appreciate all feedback. Thank you for your time.

#lobbyist #government #environment #policy #law #career

2 answers

Tom’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Are you wanting to be an industry lobbyist or a cause-related lobbyist? I can help either way, but they are different.

Arleen’s Answer

It's important as lobbyist to have a grounding in how the democratic process and government works (Civics) -- how bills become law, how taxes are levied, how zoning changes changes the face and the future of a city or a state. You said you have an passion for automotive. Not every one owns a home, but everyone either drives a car, takes a n Uber, rides mass transit, or gets deliveries by truck -- and there are laws and agencies that oversee each of these transportation options. Where there's taxes and oversight -- there's lobbyist.

Arleen recommends the following next steps:

  • I'd suggest start learning about and connecting with companies who participate in the Auto Alliance (https://autoalliance.org/) they are the advocacy (lobbying) arm for the largest car manufacturers.
  • I'd also participate in your city government process, attend committee hearings, listen to debates - many cities now broadcast their committee meetings on TV. I'd consider including public policy and macroeconomics course work -- because understanding the impact of economic trends are important tools for lobbyist. You sound like you have an strong plan already in place, now keep going! Good Luck