College of Law

Professional References

When employers ask for references, they are generally asking for a list of individuals they may contact. Letters of recommendation are different than your list of references (employers will specify when they are requesting letters).  

Sample List of References


  • You should strive to have 3 - 5 professional references. Typically, individuals will include three professional references on their list. You will want to include at least one law professor and one employer, if possible.
  • If you plan on using a person as a reference, you should contact the person first to obtain their permission. (You don’t want to find out later that a person you thought could give you a good reference was not able to do so when asked by an employer!) Your references should be able to comment on your writing abilities, work ethic, and communication skills.
  • When asking professors to serve as references, you should be sure to ask those in whose class you have done well and with whom you have had enough interaction for them to comment on your abilities.
  • Once you have confirmed that your contacts are willing to serve as references, you should provide each individual a copy of your updated resume. This will give them supporting information to supply the best reference possible when they are contacted by a prospective employer. You should also provide them a list of positions that you have applied for where you have provided their name.
  • References are typically listed on a page separate from your legal resume.


Last Updated: 6/27/22