Legislative Practice Internship
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Educational Objectives

The objective of the internship is to enable the student to apply the knowledge and tools gathered during the prerequisites of Legislation, Legislative Practice, and the Legislative Internship. Communication regarding the internship is made through the fall semester Legislative Practice class, which all internship students are required to complete. Director of the Legislative Practice Center Julie Smith both teaches the Legislative Practice course and supervises this internship. Smith and the students prepare for the next legislative session, which occurs in the spring, through class discussion and one-on-one meetings outside of class. Smith spends an additional 15-20 hours in the fall setting up the spring internships to ensure an effective experience for students.

Faculty Supervisor

The program is run by the Director of the Legislative Practice Center, who works in conjunction with Professor Neil Hamilton.

Field-Placement Supervisors

The field supervisors vary from year to year depending upon the student’s objectives for the internship. Every effort is made to place a student in an area of study that the student feels will be beneficial and of interest. During the 2011 Spring Semester, 3L students were placed with the following field-placement supervisors:
  • Eric Helland, House Republican Caucus Staff, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, (515) 986-4030. Representative Helland is the House Majority Whip.
  • Shannon Strickler, Iowa Hospital Association, 100 E Grand Ave # 100, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1800, (515) 288-1955. Ms. Strickler is Vice-President of Federal and State Relations.
  •  Matt Eide, Eide & Heisinger, LLC, 329 43rd Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, (515) 490-8559, www.ialobbying.com.
  • Ruth H. Cooperrider, Iowa Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman, Office of Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman, Ola Babcock Miller Building, 1112 East Grand, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, (515) 281-3592.
  • Doug Struyk, Legal Counsel, Iowa Secretary of State, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, (515) 281-8993.
  • Brice Oakley, Avenson, Oakley and Cope, 4004 Grand Ave., Suite 302, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, (515) 669-6262.
  • Jerry Foxhoven, Middleton Center for Children’s Rights, Drake University Law School, 2500 University Ave. Des Moines, Iowa, (515) 271-2073. Julie Smith supervises students at the Capitol during the internship.
  • Richard Johnson, Legislative Services Agency, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, (515) 281-3566.
  • Sharon Tahtinen, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, (515) 281-5918.
  • Justin Hupfer, PolicyWorks, 1500 NW 118th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50325, (866) 518-0209.
  • Brian Farrell, Innocence Project of Iowa, University of Iowa College of Law, 189 Boyd Law Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, (319) 335-8273.
  • Julie Smith supervises the students at the Capitol during the internship.


Prerequisites for student participation are that they have completed the Legislation course, Legislator Internship, and the Legislative Practice course.

Last Modified: 1/26/2012 12:36:00 PM by Megan Flynn