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An employer will likely ask for a list of contacts in order to help evaluate your candidacy. Some employers ask for references as part of the initial application, while others ask for references after an interview. Your references should be a list of (usually three) individuals whom the employer can contact to talk about you and your work experience. The most appropriate references are your current or former employers (including summer internships) and your law school professors (including clinical professors and instructors). Before you provide an employer with your list of references, contact your references and ask permission to use their names.

Reference requests are not requests for recommendation letters. A list of your references should be provided as an attachment and include a name, title, contact information and how you know the reference (see attached sample). Only provide references if the employer asks for them.

View OPIA’s Professionalism Guide and FAQ page if you have any questions regarding obtaining and contacting references.