References and Reference Lists

**References should not be listed directly on your resume. They should be on a separate sheet of paper.

A good sign that a potential employer is seriously considering you for a position is a request for your references. Usually the employer will want the names of two or three people who can recommend you for employment based on their personal experience with you either as a law student or as an employee (preferably as a law clerk, research assistant or from a prior business setting).
When providing references:

  • Before you give the name of any reference to a potential employer, you should obtain permission from your reference to pass along his or her name. Further, you should give a copy of your resume to your reference so he or she can become familiar with your background before the reference check.
  • Use a sheet of stationary matching your resume to list each reference's name, address, professional affiliation, position, telephone number and email address.
  • If it is not otherwise clear from your resume, you should identify each reference as to his or her connection to you, i.e., "Former Employer" or "Torts Professor."
  • Put your name, address and telephone number at the top of the page in a manner that is identical to the heading on your resume.
  • If one of your references has a connection to the prospective employer, you may wish to mention this fact in your cover letter.

DO NOT include on your resume, "References available upon request," because that is assumed.

For more information on conducting a job search, writing a cover letter, interviewing, etc., see the Professional Development page