A legislative assistant (LA) is a legislative staffer who works for a legislator by monitoring pending legislation, conducting research, drafting legislation, giving advice and counsel, and making recommendations.
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In the United States Congress, most members (both Representatives and Senators) have multiple legislative assistants in their office, who may be tasked to handle one or more area in which the assistant has particular expertise (e.g. education policy, environmental policy, tax policy). Often the assignments will be connected to the committee assignments of the member.
In most offices, there is one staffer, variously called a legislative director (LD), senior legislative assistant, or legislative coordinator (LC), in charge of all legislative assistants in the office.
Some practitioners have questioned the lack of a federal congressional clerkship program, finding that few top law school graduates have or will take seriously the process of being a legislative aide to gain practical skills after graduation.
- Rudesill, Dakota S. (2008-11-05). "Keepers of the U.S. Code: The Case for a Congressional Clerkship Program". Slip Opinions, the online supplement to Washington University Law Review. Retrieved 2009-02-22.