Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

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Anonymous User
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Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:09 am

Will it be very noticeable and negative if I don't use my 1L summer supervisor as a reference? While I get along with my supervisor swimmingly and think she would give me an excellent reference, I got the position through a family connection. While I was comfortable with using the connection to get the job since I wasn't being paid and it was a great opportunity for experience (and I didn't win the job over other people or anything, I was the only person who applied, and was asked specifically by the director to apply after meeting him/her and discussing relevant legal issues), asking for a reference seems like a conflict of interest.

In other words, a family member of mine is on the board of the not-for-profit for which I interned, and therefore has some say on the employment status and salary of my supervisor. So, hypothetically, she could only give me a good reference for fear of losing her job or somesuch. Is it okay to leave her off my reference list, or will that look bad?

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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:28 am

I am interested in this too, for similar but unique reasons.

Action Jackson
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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Action Jackson » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:03 am

If this isn't a flame my head might explode.

No, there is nothing wrong with using a person as a reference if they have no choice but to give you a good recommendation. Who gives a s@#t why they're giving you the good recommendation?

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jayn3
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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby jayn3 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:18 am

Action Jackson wrote:If this isn't a flame my head might explode.

No, there is nothing wrong with using a person as a reference if they have no choice but to give you a good recommendation. Who gives a s@#t why they're giving you the good recommendation?

oh but the ethics! the ethics!!!

i would use the reference. if you are fairly sure it'll be positive, it can't hurt you. leaving it off could come across as a red flag.

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Teoeo
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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Teoeo » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:39 am

Obviously it will raise a flag, and you should be ready to explain it. The only reason you wouldn't use your summer supervisor as a reference, however, is that he/she would be a bad reference and that would obviously be worse than not listing him/her at all (so you don't really have to think too much about it ^_^)

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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:08 pm

Action Jackson wrote:If this isn't a flame my head might explode.

No, there is nothing wrong with using a person as a reference if they have no choice but to give you a good recommendation. Who gives a s@#t why they're giving you the good recommendation?

OP here -- your head might explode because some law students actually strive to be ethical?

I find it utterly disturbing that some people think there isn't anything questionable at all about using a person who might, because of power structures, have to give you a good reference. It's certainly not something I would want on the cover of the Washington Post if I ever ran for office or were nominated to a prestigious court, so why would I do it?

The whole thing seems dodgy to me, and the question wasn't whether or not it was okay to ask for a reference, it was whether or not it would raise a red flag, and Teoeo answered that. Thanks, y'all.

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romothesavior
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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby romothesavior » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:13 pm

I see little, if any, ethical problem here. As long as this person isn't a family member who shares your last name, I highly doubt anyone will even know or care. And if they do notice and ask you about it, just say that they were your direct supervisor and your family member had nothing to do with your supervision. Seriously, I think this is a non-issue.

And don't flatter yourself... this ain't ever gonna see the cover of the Washington Post. I did like a quadruple :roll: when I saw that.

I'd use the reference.

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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:21 pm

romothesavior wrote:I see little, if any, ethical problem here. As long as this person isn't a family member who shares your last name, I highly doubt anyone will even know or care. And if they do notice and ask you about it, just say that they were your direct supervisor and your family member had nothing to do with your supervision. Seriously, I think this is a non-issue.

And don't flatter yourself... this ain't ever gonna see the cover of the Washington Post. I did like a quadruple :roll: when I saw that.

I'd use the reference.

It's a pretty frequently used ethical standard in the business world: Don't do anything at all related to your career that you wouldn't want on the cover of the Washington Post.

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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:22 pm

You are aware that 70% of jobs come from "networking" aka "someone you know"?
It's not like you're the first person to get a legal job because your mommy or daddy know someone, or even better, owns the whole gig.
I go to school where at least a dozen kids aren't bothering with OCI because they're working for mom/dad or will have a job based on a referral from mom/dad.

If you thought your supervisor had a reason to give you a bad LOR then don't ask. Also, it's illegal to fire someone or even discipline them administratively for writing a less than favorable (if TRUTHFUL) review of a subordinate.
It would be kind of douchey to write an intern a piss poor review unless you're just a complete idiot, in which case, the supervisor should probably warn all future employers of your lack of ability.
However, if you did a decent job and the supervisor can honestly give you a good LOR there's no reason not use him/her as a reference. It's not like you're having the family member write the LOR--that would be douchey, and in the gray area of integrity.

If your reference is from an actual family member--don't use it
If the reference will HAVE to state that you got the job because of someone you know--don't use it
If the reference does not talk about your work and your ability, but instead talks only about your personality--don't use it

Action Jackson
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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby Action Jackson » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Action Jackson wrote:If this isn't a flame my head might explode.

No, there is nothing wrong with using a person as a reference if they have no choice but to give you a good recommendation. Who gives a s@#t why they're giving you the good recommendation?

OP here -- your head might explode because some law students actually strive to be ethical?


No, my head is going to explode because of how silly this question is. There is NO ethical issue here AT ALL. Again, no one cares why a person gives you a recommendation. What if the employer is going to give you a recommendation because you were a very nice person and they would feel bad not recommending you? Is that unethical? What if while you were working your employer asked you to do them a favor beyond the scope of your designated job duties and they feel obligated to give you a good recommendation that way?

Or maybe more importantly, if your personal ethical code is so severe that you actually think there might be something wrong here, why did you take the job in the first place? How dare you use personal family connections to get a job? You must surely be a monster. You should just quit the legal profession now, before the Washington Post finds out you got this one job that one time because of NEPOTISM!!! (Because such a thing is unheard of in this society)

Sigh...

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romothesavior
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Re: Not using 1L summer supervisor as a reference?

Postby romothesavior » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I see little, if any, ethical problem here. As long as this person isn't a family member who shares your last name, I highly doubt anyone will even know or care. And if they do notice and ask you about it, just say that they were your direct supervisor and your family member had nothing to do with your supervision. Seriously, I think this is a non-issue.

And don't flatter yourself... this ain't ever gonna see the cover of the Washington Post. I did like a quadruple :roll: when I saw that.

I'd use the reference.

It's a pretty frequently used ethical standard in the business world: Don't do anything at all related to your career that you wouldn't want on the cover of the Washington Post.


The Washington Post is going to cover this earth-shattering story on the 2010 "Legalgate" scandal? You mean the one dealing with the EGREGIOUS nepotism that occurred when a sinister not-for-profit director hired his/her family member to a non-paying summer internship gig? And then, to make matters worse, the supervisor of the intern had the NERVE to write the intern a positive letter of recommendation!

Society will be outraged! The Tea Party will launch protests in Washington! There could very likely be major ramifications on the world economy!

Image


Seriously broski (if you're a broski)... relax. There is nothing wrong or unethical with your situation.




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