Murphysboro, Illinois Student Interns in Durbin's Washington, DC Senate Office

WASHINGTON – Murphysboro native Lorna Gilmore spent two months this summer interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in his Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 interns work in Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office. Interns process constituent requests and calls, help with legislative duties, and lead Capitol tours for Illinois residents visiting Washington, D.C. 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.
“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.”
Lorna grew up in Murphysboro, Illinois. She is a rising senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she is majoring in Social Work with a focus in Public Policy and minoring in Communications. Through her work in a clinical social work practice, she became interested in working on issues like public health and social welfare on a macro level. Lorna is also interested in working on agricultural issues, as her hometown taught her the importance and intricacies of agriculture.
“Working in Senator Durbin's office provided me with a better sense of how constituent concerns shape legislation. With Southern Illinois being a vastly different region than other areas of the state, it is interesting to see how Senator Durbin balances the diverse interests of the different regions in Illinois all the while shaping federal legislation,” said Lorna.
The internship is designed to provide interns with the experience in the core functions of a 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 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.