References as a young associate?

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References as a young associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:50 pm

I have been asked for three references after a second interview for a federal position. I've had three lined up but now that the moment has come I'm second-guessing.

I have only been working as an attorney for <2 years. My firm doesn't have much turnover, so I don't have ex-coworkers or partners to use. I could maybe call up a law professor or two, but that would take time. The three I have lined up are former classmates: one undergraduate, two law school. All three of them are successful attorneys in various roles. I have either worked with them in student organizations, legal aid offices, or volunteer work.

Will I blow my chance by including these three? Is it considered unacceptable to use peers that aren't my coworkers? I really don't have any other great options. I don't want to use anyone at my current firm.

I'd like to add to my reference description of each with more than just our school activities - can I say that we mentor each other professionally, or will that be laughed at? (I mean, it's true. I use them for legal and career advice, to develop business, and they want me to succeed).

Thoughts in general?

jd20132013

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Re: References as a young associate?

Postby jd20132013 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:12 pm

I'm baffled as to why you wouldn't use a law professor

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: References as a young associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:15 pm

Your instincts are right...this is unusual and risky. You need a supervisor or someone senior to you in the legal profession -- not a peer. Whether it is a professor, from an internship, or best of all from your current job (even if it is awkward). It does create an odd impression that you can't have one person speak highly of you who is not a peer and it will stand out.

lawhopeful100

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Re: References as a young associate?

Postby lawhopeful100 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:55 pm

I’m guessing they want to check the references prior to offering you the job? Worst case you could try to explain that you’re happy to list references from your current firm, but for obvious reasons you would not want them contacted until after an offer is made.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: References as a young associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:25 am

Thanks all. I managed to touch base with some old professors and get a super quick turnaround. I did not submit any of my peers.

Although, I don't think it's that strange to do so. Ideal? No. But better than nothing I would argue.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: References as a young associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:21 pm

I’d think it’s pretty strange and goes against common sense / defeats the purpose of listing references.



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