New job asks for 5 professional references in addition to background check. For the hiring managers reading this PLEASE STOP DOING THIS. I’ve been at one firm for my entire legal career and haven’t given notice yet. I have no one to put down.

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That’s exactly how many my current job asked for too and I thought it was so obnoxious. I’ve been trying to advocate for three since I started!!

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I appreciate the good fight!

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My new job asked for 3. I put a classmate from law school, a supervisor from a pre-law school job and a senior associate who I told in confidence that I wanted to leave. It sucks, but get creative. Do you have any law professors or senior associates you can ask?

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I’d happily provide a reference for a former colleague, for what it’s worth.

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Ugh I had to deal with this too. I spent 5 years & my 2L summer with the same firm…so I had to get creative.

I ended up using 2 people who had left my firm (former paralegal & summer associate program coordinator), my journal EIC from law school, a boss from a pre-law school job, & the externship coordinator at my law school. Hunting everyone down was *such* a pain and my company didn’t call a single one of my references.

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I echo the recommendation of using people who’ve left your firm.

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You can usually request that they do not contact the references until an offer and provided you have passed the background. I think the most telling thing about it is the fact that you're able to list important clients as references. That way you're not limited to listing far removed references from law school that can't necessarily speak to your skills now. I listed firm clients as references when I applied for my in house position and had them assure me they wouldn't contact until I had an offer in hand. They never contacted any of them.

I also have been a reference for my former colleagues at the firm looking to make a jump.

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