University of Illinois Student Interns in Durbin’s Washington, DC Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – University of Illinois Law student Joseph Torres spent two months this summer interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill Judiciary Committee office. Judiciary interns help committee staff and Senator Durbin prepare for hearings while also assisting with other legislative duties. 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.”


Born in Palos Heights, Illinois, Torres received his undergraduate degree in political science and philosophy from the University of Saint Francis. He is currently beginning his second year at the University of Illinois College of Law. Working with Senator Durbin’s Judiciary Committee staff has provided Torres with great insight into the legislative process.


“I wanted to work with the Judiciary Committee because I am passionate about civil rights.” Torres said. “During my time here, I witnessed a group of men and women dedicated to providing equal justice to those on the fringes of American society. I feel fortunate to have been able to serve others in this capacity. It has been the most rewarding professional and educational experience of my life.”


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 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.