ESL and Bilingual Student Resources

Law school is difficult for everyone. After just the first week of classes, students realize that their professors are asking them to write, to read, and to think in a whole new language: the language of law. For bilingual and ESL students, this difficulty is compounded. Not only do bilingual and ESL students at times struggle with non-legal English, now professors are asking them to write, to read, and to think in a specialized version of English. 

Although law school can present unique challenges to bilingual and ESL students, the rewards of ascertaining a legal degree as a bilingual or ESL student are enormous. The opportunity for a client to communicate in his or her native tongue with a bilingual attorney can eliminate unnecessary anxiety for the client and will inevitably improve the accuracy of any resulting legal representation. If you at times feel discouraged by the task of parsing legal opinions, statutes, and contracts in a language other than your first language, let the appreciation and relief of your future clients drive you to put in the extra work necessary to become a successful bilingual or ESL lawyer.

And remember, you are not in this endeavor alone. The Center for Writing Excellence is here to help you navigate the language of the law and to master legal writing. 

We have compiled the following list of resources to aid our bilingual and ESL students. 

On-line Resources

  1. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL):
  2. Videos and visual depictions of legal concepts:
  3. US Law Essentials YouTube:
  4. Grammar Girl (an easy to follow grammar blog):
  5. Grammar Girl podcasts:

UNT Dallas College of Law Library Resources

  1. Just Writing, Enquist, Oates, Francis KF 250.E57 2017: on reserve (especially Chapter 10)

Page last modified on January 24, 2018 at 10:51 am.