Asking for references via email?

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Asking for references via email?

Postby futurejdgirl » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:43 pm

1L, trying to motivate myself to apply for jobs but I always hit a roadblock because most of the jobs I want require three references.

I'm very personable and I have a good feeling I could get recommendations from some of my professors, they seemed to like me - especially my LRW professor who casually told me "not to be worried about my grade" and recommended I TA for the class next year. (Also, only one of my grades has been released, B+, wasn't planning on asking that professor anyways.)

But I'm stressing out because I don't know how to ask for a recommendation via email. Career office told me to call (our LRW gave us his cell phone number) but I'm super awkward over the phone and right now, with the holidays and all, I don't even think it's appropriate to badger any of my professors via phone calls. Also, I highly doubt any of my professors will be in their office. I just feel generally very very reluctant about this phone thing.

School starts in Jan, should I wait to ask them all in person or go ahead and email so I can start applying? If it's okay to email, what exactly do I say? What have you guys been doing?


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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby Bronck » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:57 pm

I emailed and those profs who have gotten back to me were fine about it.

I just said something short like: "May I use you as a reference for the 1L job search?"

If you like, tack on something about having a happy holidays.

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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby atcushman » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:04 pm

I sent something like this

I am in the process of completing applications for summer internships. One of the internships I am applying for requires several academic references and I was wondering if I could list you as one? I believe the work I have completed in your class reflects my skills as a legal writer and my commitment towards developing these talents. If you are willing to provide a reference for me, could I please have the contact information you would like me to use. Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

I got a response from all my teachers quickly and they were all positive

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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby 2014 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:42 pm

Do you need a written letter, or just to list them on a reference list?

If the latter, email is fine. If you need a written letter I'd probably lean toward in person as soon as you get back next week or whenever.


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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby 094320 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:17 pm



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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby MinEMorris » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:02 am

if it's just to list them as a reference, your professors are probably references for half of the class so there's no need to be overly personal about it (i.e. call or come in to the office). Though, if they don't seem to know student names or have a seating chart, it might be wise to show your face just so they can actually know who they're talking about when the employer calls the references.

If you're asking them for an actual written recommendation, I would notify them by e-mail and offer to come in during their office hours. Often they want to talk with you a bit or see your resume.

If it's any comfort, I actually don't think I know anyone who had their 1L references contacted. It's pretty rare even as a 2L.


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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby Myself » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:41 am

I have done both email or phone for both letters and simple references. I think email is just fine for references. If you're doing a letter, you can do email, but I think phone is preferable. However, if you're choosing between putting off applying for jobs for two more weeks because none of your professors are on campus, I would just email them instead (unless you can tell that a prof is old school and would be offended by an email). Good luck.


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Re: Asking for references via email?

Postby eerie_erie » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:40 pm

I think email is fine. But for future reference, being able to speak articulately on the phone is an important skill for some law fields (for example, either working against opposing counsel on a telephone hearing with the judge or negotiating certain deal terms). Might as well start practicing somewhere.

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