Lincoln Park Student Interns in Durbin's Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Chicago resident Courtney Lang will spend eight weeks interning for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 students intern in Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office. Interns process constituent requests, help with legislative duties and lead Capitol tours for Illinois residents visiting Washington. During that time, they gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process, learn about the inner-workings of the federal government and develop valuable research skills.

“Forty-five years ago, I started my career on Capitol Hill as a college intern for Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL),” Senator Durbin said. “I will never forget that day in February of 1966 when he agreed to hire me as an intern to work in his office. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever done; a student from East St. Louis, Illinois was going to work in the office of a U.S. Senator. I know what a valuable experience it can be and we strive to make sure all of our students get a glimpse into the workings of the United States Senate.” 

The daughter of Dr. Gordon and Linda Lang, Courtney is pursuing a double major in political science and public policy at Duke University. Lang graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep in 2009. As an intern in Sen. Durbin’s office, she will assist legislative staffers on a wide variety of issues, ranging from local Illinois environmental issues to national debates about tax reform and the federal debt ceiling. Lang is one of 24 interns from around the country working in Sen. Durbin’s office during two summer sessions.

“I’ve always found the way people take stances in politics really interesting,” Lang said. “I like to see how politicians interact with people they disagree with, and how they debate the issues.”

The internship program is designed to provide interns with experience in the core functions of Senate office and allow them to gain a better understanding of the federal legislative process. Their responsibilities include assisting full-time staff in responding to various constituent requests, assisting with information inquiries, attending committee and agency hearings and briefings, researching legislative issues and policy questions, observing floor proceedings, and attending meetings related to specific legislation. Internships can range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.