An elected or appointed legislator develops laws and/or statutes for governing the people depending on the position he or she holds. The laws are introduced and enacted if approved at the local, state, federal or tribal government levels.
Legislators should hold a bachelor’s degree and at least five years’ experience in law making. Stress in your legislator job description the importance of strong active listening and critical thinking skills, as this job requires hearing what constituents say and identifying solutions to resolve their concerns.
Legislators must also possess extensive social and communication skills, as they must discuss current issues and their plan to resolve them with the people and the governing body. They should have a full understanding of the legal process in which they work. For more information on what to include in your posting, view the sample legislator job description below.
Legislator Job Summary
If you’ve always dreamt of making a difference, a real difference, you should consider a career as a legislator. You will be directly involved in the law-making process. You will listen to your constituents, the people, to identify their concerns. Then you get to put on your thinking cap and come up with a way to resolve those concerns. Think about how rewarding it will be if you share those concerns with your people. Once you’ve identified the solution, you face the exciting challenge of drafting and proposing legislation designed to resolve the current issues people face today. Think about it. You are determining how the government governs. First, you’re a legislator, next, the President of the United States.
- Review or listen to the concerns of your constituents on a daily basis by reading emails, mailed letters and receiving telephone calls
- Listen to the concerns of your constituents by receiving them in your office via scheduled meetings or offsite visits
- Attend meetings with lobbying groups, business owners, legislators and other key political figures on a daily basis
- Review current laws and statutes to determine where stated concerns fall within existing legislation
- Research and write new legislation to address concerns if nothing is in place
- Attend scheduled governing body meetings to discuss current issues and propose new legislation on a scheduled basis
- Propose new laws and support the written legislation with evidence that they are necessary, including research, final studies results and legislative and constituent arguments during the scheduled governing body meetings
- Persuade fellow legislators to approve and enact proposed legislation during the scheduled governing body meetings and see approved legislation through to its confirmation
Job Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree
- At least five years’ law-making experience
- Advanced listening and negotiating skills
- Advanced communications skills, including reading, speaking and writing
- Advanced research and problem-solving skills
- Previous legal experience
- Previous governing experience
- Experience using Legislative Automative Workflow System (LAWS)
Legislator Job Responsibilities
When looking for quality employees it is imperative you create a strong and effective legislator job description with a well-defined job responsibilities section. Taking the time to do so ensures that the people who apply are aware of what the job entails and have a clear picture of what day-to-day functions are. You should employ action verbs when listing each task, which helps the applicants envision themselves in the position.
Use bullet points to make the responsibilities section easy to read. While you want to give a detailed idea of the role, you don’t want to include so many duties that the reader is overwhelmed. Stick to the most frequent and important chores, which typically limits the list to seven or eight points. Take sufficient time writing this section of the legislator job description to help narrow down the number of jobseekers who apply.
These are some common legislator job responsibilities:
- Create bills to be reviewed by constituents and colleagues for passage into law
- Form and lead subcommittees and committees to discuss issues, read and debate bills and suggest amendments to current legislation
- Meet regularly with the public to listen to issues and explain new laws and regulations
- Design community events to attract support for upcoming elections
Legislator Job Specifications
The responsibilities section is usually the longest part of your legislator job description, but the skills and qualifications section is also important. This segment outlines all of the aptitudes an applicant needs to do well in the position. If well written, the list of requirements can significantly cut down on the number of job candidates who do not have all of the qualifications or feel they are too qualified for the role. The more detailed you are, the more effective your description will be.
It may help to sit down with the management team or another person working in the same position and discuss what proficiencies are important. Ideally, include both required and preferred criteria in your legislator job description. Include relevant education level, technical skills, experience, personality traits, physical requirements and certifications you want the applicant to have. Use bullet points to keep this section concise, and list between six and eight skills.
The following are some typical legislator job specifications you may want to include:
- Bachelor’s degree highly preferred
- Minimum of three years’ experience in public office preferred
- Excellent verbal, interpersonal and written communication skills
- Highly personable and responsible to build trusting relationships
- United States citizenship required
- Strong leadership and persuasion skills