JLARC is now recruiting

We are now accepting applications to be a JLARC policy analyst in Richmond, Virginia. We conduct in-depth nonpartisan public policy research to support the legislative decision-making process of the Virginia General Assembly. JLARC analysts have the opportunity to engage in

  • primary research through surveys, interviews, and other methods;
  • advanced quantitative analysis; and
  • synthesis of findings and development of recommendations. 

Successful policy analysts have strong analytical and descriptive statistics skills, sharp critical thinking and writing skills, and work well in teams. A master’s degree in public policy or administration, program evaluation, or a related research-based discipline is strongly preferred. Applied research experience in a policy-related or program evaluation field is preferred. Some overnight travel may be necessary. 

JLARC offers a competitive salary and benefits package.  Salaries for entry-level positions start in the low $50,000 range. Salaries are higher for analysts with relevant experience. The value of state-paid benefits—including health insurance, retirement, and life insurance—can be $15K to $28K per year at the entry level.

With the knowledge that:

  • Social scientific evidence shows that increased diversity and inclusion in the workplace can lead to better problem solving, decision making, and research;
  • The racial and ethnic diversity of Virginia’s population continues to increase, and a workforce that reflects that diversity can better serve all Virginians; and
  • JLARC’s workforce has historically lacked diversity, particularly across racial and ethnic identities.
    We are an equal opportunity employer and also committed to pursuing increased workforce diversity and ensuring an inclusive work environment.

You can click here to provide us with information about yourself and begin the application process.

More information about working at JLARC and living in the Richmond metro area is shown below.

Why work for JLARC?

 

Working for JLARC presents a unique opportunity to influence public policy and improve state government. Working here represents a great balance of meaningful work with talented colleagues and life in a vibrant community.

We are a recognized leader in legislative program evaluation

JLARC reports are consistently recognized for their quality and impact. The National Legislative Program Evaluation Society, a section of the National Conference of State Legislatures, recognized JLARC as the nation's top office with its prestigious Excellence in Evaluation Award in 2020. The organization has awarded JLARC its Excellence in Research Methods Award for several studies and also recognized JLARC with its Impact Award nearly every year during the past decade.

State Legislatures magazine described JLARC as "one of the oldest and most successful legislative oversight groups in the nation." Governing magazine characterized JLARC as “thorough in their review and evaluation of agency and program performance information.”

Our work supports major policy decisions and improvements in government programs
Since its inception, JLARC has made recommendations that have cumulatively saved about $1.2 billion. We are often tasked with proposing ways to improve some of the state's most important programs. Some of our recent studies exemplify how working here allows analysts to play a key role in shaping state policy and fundamentally improving government services.

Examining how Virginia could legalize marijuana and establish a regulated commercial market
In 2020, JLARC reviewed how the state could legalize marijuana, with a focus on how the prior harm to disproportionately affected individuals and communities could be redressed through legalization.

We explained the numerous legislative decisions the General Assembly would need to make to legalize marijuana, ranging from establishing a legal age for marijuana use to authorizing the development of a statewide market for commercial adult use marijuana sales. JLARC staff also analyzed the potential impacts to public health and the criminal justice system that would result from legalization.

We also found that Black Virginians were 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for a marijuana offense, and designed a variety of “social equity” initiatives the state could implement. In total, the report included 75 different recommendations and policy options for the General Assembly to consider as it contemplates legalization.

Transforming Virginia’s foster care system
In 2018, JLARC reviewed the state’s foster care system, which serves more than 5,000 children and families. We found that the state lacked a reliable and comprehensive way to identify problems in Virginia’s foster care system. In addition, Virginia did not have a confidential mechanism to receive complaints related to foster care.

We also found many children in Virginia’s foster care system are staying longer than necessary, which can negatively affect their development and outcomes later in life. Virginia had among the nation’s highest rate of children aging out of foster care. Local social services were not always filing for termination of biological parents’ rights when required and not always providing transition services. Many foster care managers were supervising too many caseworkers.

The 2019 General Assembly enacted 23 of JLARC’s recommendations to improve Virginia’s foster care system. The 2020 General Assembly implemented an additional 7 recommendations from the study.

The Richmond metro area is a great place to live

We are located in the state’s capital of Richmond, which is increasingly lauded as one of the emerging metropolitan areas in the southeast region for things such as its cuisine. The metro Richmond area is increasingly cited among the nation's most livable regions. The city offers many cultural and recreational options, including a vibrant outdoor sceneTime magazine found that Richmond attracted the second highest percentage of people 25 to 34 years old of any area in the nation. Richmond is only a short drive away from beaches, mountains, and popular destinations such as Washington, D.C. Richmond provides many of the advantages of larger metropolitan areas but with a lower cost of living and less traffic congestion.

We offer competitive compensation and a healthy work-life balance

Our agency offers high-performing staff members opportunities for advancement in rank and salary. JLARC employees are able to telecommute one day per week (we have been telecommuting full time during the pandemic). We also offer flexible work schedules. State employees have access to comprehensive health care coverage, competitive retirement benefits, and flexible leave programs.

Our staff is collegial, talented, and dedicated

Our agency’s culture is defined by our people. JLARC analysts hold master’s degrees in public policy or related disciplines, and many have come to JLARC with a variety of professional experiences, such as policy research at the federal level, consulting, environmental law, and corporate finance. While many have had diverse professional experiences, all share a passion for effective and efficient government. 

Our studies are objective, nonpartisan, and research-driven

Although JLARC staff report to the General Assembly, the organization is nonpartisan and independent. Decision makers may sometimes not be pleased with our findings, but nonetheless expect and appreciate the objectivity and depth of our studies. Staff are not constrained by outside pressures that could otherwise compromise the quality or integrity of our research.

Our research covers many different programs, agencies, and policy topics

JLARC can be directed to evaluate any program or entity that receives state funding. Study topics vary from year-to-year and provide staff with an opportunity be involved in a variety of policy areas, keeping the research process fresh and challenging. Many JLARC reports, such as our evaluation of the state's worker's compensation system, address high-profile and time-sensitive issues.