Legislative analysts work primarily for corporations and other large organizations to help them understand how they are impacted by new and existing laws. These analysts carefully study how existing regulations may affect a business, school, or other organization and predict how potential outcomes of legislation under consideration will impact the business. They may specialize in areas that experience rapid change in official laws, such as health care, labor laws, and environmental legislation, and they typically create data-based reports for executives and operations officers within the organization to use in both financial reports and decision-making processes.
For most companies, a legislative analyst must keep track of legislation and regulations on both federal and local levels. The analyst may even work in the nation's capital for some companies to be at the center of where lobbying and debates over lawmaking initiatives take place. The analyst carefully examines laws under consideration and those with regulations that may be evolving, and then create data-driven reports which show how they can impact the organization's operations, both in short-term and long-term implications.
In addition to in-depth understanding of law and how legislative processes work, these analysts must also have a strong understanding of their employers' various operations; regulations under debate in government may not have readily apparent effects on the way a company does business, for instance. An analyst's job is simply to ensure that his/her employer gets no surprises from any new or evolving laws going into effect.
To work as a legislative analyst, an educational background in public policy, political science, or even a law degree may be required depending on the employer. Applicants should have some background and/or practical experience within the industry, as well. Most legislative analysts work in an office environment, but frequent travel and irregular hours for meetings are quite common for those in this position.
Legislative Analyst Tasks
Oversees activities pertaining to various branches of government at various levels from municipal to federal.
Serve as administrative and fiscal resource to legislators.
Make recommendations regarding administrative and fiscal policies.
Analyze legislation and fiscal issues pertinent to their employer.
Keeps abreast of current legislation and changes to legislation pertaining to the relevant interest of the company or organization with whom they are employed.