Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Tony Silva

Committee Member 1

Margie Berns

Committee Member 2

Dwight Atkinson


Due to a rapidly rising population of international law students in the United States, considering the guiding role of language specialists in L2 legal writing has become more critical than ever regarding academic curricula and research as well as prospective professional practice. Given the lack of rich body of research on L2 legal writing, this thesis contemplates how legal writing curricula and research could be practically beneficial to L2 English learners (especially to those with legal backgrounds), through the researcher's own point of view as a L2 English-speaking lawyer. For this purpose, the researcher investigates diverse approaches to L2 legal writing and explores relevant literature within the field of SLS. Current dilemmas in L2 legal writing instruction associated with the intimate relationship between law and language are also addressed. In addition, the unique aspects involved in L2 legal writing are identified and discussed regarding the discourse features of legal writing genres. Through such in-depth examination of the concerns and ideas of ELP researchers and practitioners, the researcher profiles current challenges in L2 legal writing and discovers varying perspectives therein(from ideal to realistic), including the value of interdisciplinary and intersectional cooperation in research as well as practice. Ultimately, pedagogical implications of the research findings and suggestions for further inquiry are discussed.