Alexa Z. Chew

George R. Ward Term Professor and Clinical Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Legal Education
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing


Alexa Chew is an award-winning teacher at the University of North Carolina School of Law. She joined the faculty in 2012 and teaches Research, Reasoning, Writing, and Advocacy (RRWA) I, RRWA II, and Writing for Practice. She has written two legal-writing textbooks, “The Complete Legal Writer” and “The Complete Bar Writer” (both with Katie Rose Guest Pryal) and four articles about legal citation: “Citation Literacy,” “Stylish Legal Citation,” “Citation Stickiness” (with Kevin Bennardo), and “Citation Stickiness, Computer-Assisted Legal Research, and the Universe of Thinkable Thoughts” (with Aaron Kirschenfeld). She frequently presents her work at legal writing conferences. Carolina Law awarded her the Robert G. Byrd Award for Excellence and Creativity in Teaching (2015) and the Charles E. Daye Award for Excellence in Faculty Service (2017). In 2022, the University of North Carolina selected her for a Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction.

Chew earned her A.B. with honors from Princeton University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She graduated from the Duke University School of Law, where she was a member of the Duke Law Journal and the Asian Law Students Association. Following law school, she practiced corporate law in Boston at Bingham McCutchen LLP. She later returned to North Carolina as a law clerk for the Honorable Rick Elmore at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, where she served for six years. Before joining the faculty at UNC, she taught Legal Research and Writing at Campbell University School of Law. Chew is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Massachusetts (inactive).


  • J.D., Duke University (2005)
  • A.B. (cum laude), Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University (2001)

Selected Publications

Citation Stickiness, Computer-Assisted Legal Research, and the Universe of Thinkable Thoughts (A. Kirschenfeld & A. Chew), 19 LEGAL COMM. & RHETORIC: JALWD 1 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Saying the Quiet Parts Out Loud: Teaching Students How Law School Works (A. Chew and R. Gurvich), 100 NEB. L. REV. 887 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Turducken™ Legal Writing: Deconstructing the Multi-State Performance Test Genre (Kaci Bishop and Alexa Chew), 26 LEGAL WRITING: J. LEGAL WRITING INST. 113 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Citation Stickiness  (K. Bennardo & A. Chew), 20 J. APP. PRAC. & PROCESS 61 (2019).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

THE COMPLETE BAR WRITER (A. Chew & K. Pryal) (Carolina Acad. Press, 2020).
KF303 .C44 2020

THE COMPLETE LEGAL WRITER (A. Chew & K. Pryal) (Carolina Acad. Press) (2nd ed., 2020).
KF250 .C46 2020

Stylish Legal Citation, 71 ARK. L. REV. 823 (2019).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Citation Literacy, 70 ARK. L. REV. 869 (2018).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Border-Crossing: Genre Discovery and the Portability of Legal Writing Instruction (A. Chew and C. Smith), 25 PERSP.: TEACHING LEGAL RES. & WRITING 8 (2016).

SSRN Author Page

In the Media