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If you enjoy extensive research, can take the pressures of politics, and want a job that influences many lives, becoming a Legislative Analyst might be a good career choice. In this job, you research proposed and current laws, then use your findings to produce detailed reports about what the laws will do.
Being a Legislative Analyst is a pretty complex job. For one thing, it’s hard to tell how laws will impact constituents, as the effects often differ from one location of a state to another. For example, a new law on dairy farms may not influence the northern region of a district, but it could have huge implications in the southern portion. It’s your job as the Legislative Analyst, to parse that out, and let your employer know where and how a law will affect their areas of concern.
Not surprisingly, parsing this information out requires a lot of research and writing. To take you through the process, when new legislation is introduced, you determine the positive or negative effects it will have on your interests and constituents. You use the information you gather to produce position statements, policy reports, and recommendations.
These documents are then used to create key messaging points, and a strategy for supporting or dismissing the legislation. You must work well under pressure and be flexible, as legislative sessions sometimes last hours to pass or kill a bill.
As a Legislative Analyst, you can work in a few different places. Many Analysts are employed by the state or federal legislature, doing their work for elected Representatives. Others, however, work in the private sector for major corporations or lobbying firms. Either way, you help your employer—be they a Senator or an agricultural company—understand the implications of a law, and how people and companies are affected by it.