National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Legislative Staff Management Institute (LSMI)

Sacramento building

Legislative staff participants gain valuable insights during LSMI’s eight-day program of highly-interactive seminars, discussions and team-building exercises with leading faculty and trainers from throughout the country.  The focus is on knowing and understanding the challenges of managing in the legislative setting.

LSMI gives staff new tools to make them more effective in their work and offers opportunities for personal growth and renewal.

Program Overview

The LSMI Program developed by The University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy and the California State University Sacramento Center for California Studies focuses on practical application of concepts and tools that legislative staff can use to meet the increasingly complex policy and management demands that confront American state legislatures throughout the country. 

USC in Sacramento classroom

“I can unequivocally say that nearly every aspect of my personal and professional life has been positively and permanently influenced by the knowledge I gained from LSMI and its exceptional instructors.” 

— A senior manager in the Arkansas Legislature

Who is this program designed for?

The LSMI curriculum is designed for both senior legislative staff members plus those on their way to such positions. The curriculum is demanding and the admissions committee (the USC and Sacramento State Directors) seeks senior and up-and-coming staffers who can benefit most from a challenging practical and academic experience. Acceptance into the program is competitive.

Appropriate candidates include partisan and non-partisan staff who currently hold critical management positions or are likely to in the future. Essential qualities for any participant are a commitment to public service in a legislature and an aptitude for the challenges which LSMI offers.

What you should know

  • Interactive seminars with experience-based learning for eight days
  • Executive coaching with a certified executive coach.
  • Legislative content specific to current issues and staff.
  • Management processes for leadership and personal growth.
  • Group activities outside of the conference room.

What you will learn:

  • How to better understand yourself as a Leader
  • Mindfulness
  • How to develop consensus among employees and constituents
  • Learn how to bring balance and equity to the workplace

What you can do with this learning experience/how will it help you:

This program is designed to give participants the tools to be better, more effective leaders within the legislative institution. One of those tools is the Leadership Energizes!  360-degree leadership assessment tool which provides a snapshot of your leadership profile.

List of topics (and descriptions) to be covered:

  • Influence and negotiation in the legislative context
  • Navigating risk in professional settings
  • Your leadership/behavioral style
  • Developing collaboration

Current and Past Presenters

Program Photos

LSMI Summer 2022

LSMI Summer 2022

LSMI 2021

2021 National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Staff Management Institute

LSMI 2019

Legislative Staff Management Institute, Summer 2019


All application materials must be submitted online, using this link:

Application coming soon!

A candidate’s admission will be determined by the nature of his or her current responsibilities, accomplishments, challenges faced, and potential for future public policy contributions. Candidates will be notified of their acceptance approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

Since the sharing of experience is critical to the LSMI’s objectives, participants will be chosen to include a diversity of backgrounds, geographical regions, and varieties of legislatures. If several well-qualified applicants have very similar backgrounds, one or more of them may be deferred to a future class.

The University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy; California State University, Sacramento’s Center for California Studies, and the National Conference of State Legislatures are committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

“LSMI was a career-changing experience for me. The training was spot-on in terms of being tailored to legislative staff, and very relevant to my day-to-day job. I highly recommend LSMI for any legislative staff interested in professional growth.”

— The director of a California Legislative staff office

Contact Us

For more information please contact:

Carrie Maulin
Group Director

Legislative Staff Services Program
National Conference of State Legislatures

303-856-1418 | [email protected]

Frank Zerunyan

Executive Education in Sacramento for the
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

[email protected]

Leonor Ehling
Executive Director

Center for California Studies,
Sacramento State

[email protected]