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How to Write a Legal Resume References Section

It is not always necessary to include references in a legal resume, and the decision to do so depends on a variety of factors. Always follow the directions in the job posting, including references when called for and leaving them out when specifically told to. If no mention is made, including a reference sheet makes it easy for the hiring manager to do some preliminary research on you and may be just the boost needed to secure an interview.

When Should You Include References in a Legal Resume

It can be beneficial to include references in a legal resume when you are applying for a job which may be considered a reach. Strong references willing to speak to your strengths can weigh the hiring process in your favor. If you have a reference who is currently employed at the company you are hoping to interview with, including your reference list gives the hiring manager a chance to speak with that reference informally before the interview process. Generally, if your legal resume would be strengthened by including your references, it makes sense to add them.

How To Include Professional References in a Legal Resume

It is important to let the hiring manager know why they should care about your references opinion of you and make it easy for them to get in touch with the reference. With that in mind, include complete job titles, company names, both physical and email addresses and phone numbers. Attention to detail is important when including references in a legal resume. Nothing will turn off a prospective employer quicker than a wrong number or bounced email. Double check the contact information on all of your references before submitting.

Example of Professional References in a Legal Resume

Steven Johnson, J.D.
Founding Partner, Johnson and Lawson
1515 Indigo Park, Macon, GA
(478)555-1212 (office)

Tips For Providing Professional References to a Hiring Manager

  • Select several references that you feel best know your abilities and will act as your salesman to the hiring manager. It isn’t necessary to include everyone who initially comes to mind; select a few that you feel will present you in the best light.
  • A good reference is invaluable. Contact potential references ahead of time, asking if they would be willing to serve as a reference. After the interview, send each reference a handwritten thank-you note.
  • Offer to supply references with an updated copy of your resume. At the very least, spend a few minutes catching up with each other during the phone call when you ask for permission to use them as a reference. They will be able to give a better reference if your information is fresh in their mind.
  • References can be anyone you have worked with in a professional capacity, but higher-level employees who are willing to speak up for you are a particularly strong asset.


Securing an interview in the legal field can be a competitive process, and the first step is a winning resume. Using MyPerfectResume’s Resume Builder makes it easy to quickly put together a quality resume.