References & Letters of Recommendation
Generally, students should have three references whose information they can pass along to potential employers who wish to verify academic ability, work ethic, and/or character. Talk with your references before you give out their information to a) make sure they are comfortable providing you with a reference; b) ascertain how beneficial their referral may be with a particular employer; c) ask your reference how they prefer to be contacted for the reference; d) provide each reference a copy of your resume. Ideally, your references will include two law school professors who are familiar with your academic abilities. As you progress through your law school career, you will come to know your professors on a more personal basis. Letters of recommendation from professors with whom you have a close relationship are very beneficial as the recommender is able to provide insight your demeanor outside the classroom or work environment. A third reference could be another professor, a previous employer, or a contact within the legal profession. Developing your ties within the Notre Dame Alumni Network will help you broaden your list of potential references. Unless instructed otherwise by your reference, provide employers with the following information for each reference: name, title, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Copy the header from your resume, paste it on a new page, and list the information for your references. Print this document on high quality paper that matches your resume and take copies along with you to any interviews you have scheduled.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
If an employer requests a letter of recommendation, approach your references to ask them if they are willing to write a letter to the employer recommending you for the position. Provide them with all the pertinent information including name of employer, type of position, and mailing address. Many recommenders feel that these letters should remain confidential and thus will prefer to send them directly to the employer. If this is the case, let the employer know that your letters of recommendation will arrive “under separate cover”. If the recommender is not concerned with confidentiality, you can submit the letter with your other materials.