Every summer, The Bill Lane Center for the American West offers many opportunities for Stanford undergraduates (including graduating seniors and co-terms) to work with organizations throughout the West. Through these internships, students can explore careers in natural history, conservation, land use, museum curation, resource management, energy and more.
All internships are full-time and last ten weeks during the summer. They are fully funded by the Lane Center.
The Lane Center has placed over 200 interns in positions across the West since 2005. As such, we have developed strong relationships with host organizations and work hard to ensure interns have successful and enriching experiences.
For all interns' experiences, read the Out West Student Blog.
The Bill Lane Center will provide a base stipend of $7,500 with additional funding for student financial aid and cost of living adjustments for the internship location, if applicable.
Description of the Organization and Internship Overview:
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)’s mission is to advance the effectiveness, independence and integrity of legislatures and to foster interstate cooperation and facilitate the exchange of information among legislatures. NCSL also represents legislatures in dealing with the federal government, especially in support of state sovereignty and state flexibility and protection from unfunded federal mandates and unwarranted federal preemption. In addition, NCSL is committed to improving the operations and management of state legislatures, and the effectiveness of legislators and legislative staff.
NCSL is located in Denver, Colorado.
The intern will join a small team of highly committed experts who work to provide the nation’s standard of nonpartisan election and redistricting research to all 7,000+ of the nation’s state legislators and 30,000+ legislative staff members.
On this team, the intern will dive into headlining election policies such as all-mail voting and direct democracy; learn the value of non-partisanship for communicating with people all across the political spectrum; meet state legislators, election officials and other experts; and help plan events that bring together both Democrats and Republicans for conversations about election security and accuracy.
The intern will specifically focus on two election policies most pervasive in the West: all-mail elections and direct democracy (citizen initiatives). The intern will collaborate with other team members to research aspects of all-mail elections—such as ballot curing processes, voter ID requirements and cost of implementation—and will update NCSL’s web resources accordingly.
The intern will assist with the expansion of NCSL’s current direct democracy resources and will track initiatives that qualify for the November 2023 election. The intern will be expected to write about one or both of these topics for NCSL’s online publications.
Internship Work Environment:
This will be an in-person internship with a hybrid schedule for office work as well as other in-person activities, events and meetings, as necessary.
It might be helpful to have a car depending on where the intern finds housing. Some interns have found housing within walking distance of NCSL's office, but it is unfortunately not very accessible by public transit.
- Research election policies using legal databases, state laws, and state constitutions.
- Summarize election legislation for internal use.
- Write two to two blog posts or magazine articles about election topics for NCSL's online publications.
- Collaborate with other members of NCSL’s elections team to answer research requests from legislators or legislative staff.
- Assist with the planning and coordination of several in-person meetings for legislators and legislative staff.
Bill Lane Center internships are part of Cardinal Quarter opportunities and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The opportunities are full-time (35-40 hours a week) for 10 consecutive weeks during the summer. Specific start and end dates can be coordinated directly with the supervisor.
- Students are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise) during this full-time, summer internship.
- Student athletes should confirm the impact of any awarded stipend on their athletic eligibility by contacting the Compliance Services Office prior to committing to a research project or internship.
All undergraduates, including graduating seniors, are eligible. Coterms are eligible only if they hold undergraduate status.
For more helpful application advice, please visit the BLC’s FAQs page.
Application Guidelines for this Internship:
Rising juniors or seniors are preferred, but this internship is open to students of all class years who may be interested in this opportunity.
All majors are encouraged to apply, especially those in the humanities or social sciences.
Strong and clear writing skills
Interest in elections
Willingness to engage in face-to-face communication (virtual or in-person)
The ability and skill to collaborate, including effective oral and written communication
Good organizational and task management skills
The ability to operate in a nonpartisan environment (awareness of one's own biases is a very necessary skill).
Experience in elections, politics or legal/statutory research is preferred, but not required.
Strong ability to juggle multiple short- and long-term tasks
Selection of Applicants:
Complete applications are screened and finalists are contacted for an interview with staff from The Bill Lane Center for the American West. The top candidates for the position are forwarded to the organization for direct interviews with their potential supervisors and other staff.
Host organizations will then notify the Lane Center of their preferred candidate and that applicant will receive an internship offer from the Bill Lane Center by email.
The applicant is expected to respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to the offer or the offer will be rescinded.
Once an applicant accepts an offer, they should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and withdraw their candidacy from those other opportunities.