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Where are the best places to find internships related to law, government, or public service as a high school student and how can you make yourself stand out?

I am interested in studying political science, public policy, and international relations. I have done fellowships and internships related to politics locally, but I want to expand. I am not sure where to look.

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Paul’s Answer

I would check the local courthouse in your jurisdiction.

There are many opportunities in the judicial system, from housing mediation, to positions in the clerk's office.
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JOHN’s Answer

Hello:

Possibly communicate with your house of representative or senators about the potential of internships of their own office and/or others within that some could know.

For Silver Springs (these are democrats):
https://raskin.house.gov/email-jamie
https://ivey.house.gov/address_authentication?form=/contact

For a Republican (this is more around Baltimore):
https://harris.house.gov/

Could volunteer with The Borgen Project (https://borgenproject.org/). Plenty of chances to study legislation (congress.gov) and help get yourself more networking surrounding various.

If you have a desire to travel beyond your state, this committee has members that could be helpful to communicate towards and possibly find opportunities: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/ (both republications and democrats in this listing).

"We’re an international team of big-idea dreamers and small-detail lovers, proactive problem solvers and thoughtful listeners, innovative creators and obsessive number-crunchers, bringing our own unique interests, skills, experience (and humor!) to our work, day in and day out. ":
https://www.idealist.org/en/internships?q=

Gratitude inside your pathways.

God Bless,

John German
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Catherine
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DENNIS’s Answer

Catherine: Take the bus from Silver Springs into the District and volunteer at a Senator's or Congressman/woman's office. You will get to see inside the political process. It os a great learning experience! I did it yers ago and met Joe Biden several times. He offered to help with a paper I was working on. A terrific guy! Great learning experience. Good luck.
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Joseph’s Answer

You can also search for federal internships on USAJOBS - https://intern.usajobs.gov/Search/Results?hp=student&wt=15328&s=salary&sd=desc&p=1
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Ross’s Answer

Hi Catherine.

Since you have already been on the local political circuit and have a sense of how that works, for your next step I suggest picking a a couple of policy topics that really motivate you and looking for internships with the think tanks and nonprofits in the DC area that deal with it. Whether it's immigration, climate change, military affairs, food insecurity, energy policy, economic development or whatever, you'll find at least one nonprofit engaged in that work, and they can always use the help.

This website has an extensive directory of nonprofits working on pretty much any topic you can think of.
https://www.causeiq.com/directory/district-of-columbia-state/

Once you draw up a list of places to apply, be sure to do your homework on them - ideological slant (if any), reputation for effectiveness, controversies they've been involved in, etc. - before approaching them.

The benefits of going this route are:

* You'll see firsthand how the experts at a nonprofit lobby Congress and executive agencies to get their policy options put into action.

* They always get far more invitations to social events, political fundraisers, policy roundtables and such than the staff can actually attend, and are often willing to pass these off to interns and fellows. These events can broaden your knowledge of the issues in your policy field, and are also where you'll have access to the movers and shakers that work on those issues.

* Having this policy experience will help guide you in deciding which college or university to attend, and in choosing your major and areas of concentration. (For example, if your passion is for preserving biodiversity in Asia, I'd pick a school with strong environmental studies and Asian languages programs, and couple that with a minor in either economics or international law.)

Good luck!
Ross Smith
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