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A Surprising Trait that Admissions Officers Look For

A trait that admissions officers like to see in law school applications? Boldness.

While people often correlate boldness and leadership with business school, experts say it’s a trait that’s highly valued in the law world as well.

“Even if you desire a safer legal path, presenting yourself as someone who can fight tenaciously for causes you care about can make a good impression on admissions officers,” Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, says. “Attorneys must often engage in uphill legal battles, which can require tremendous courage.”


Courage is a broad term that can apply to many different examples. And nearly every applicant can find a story in their life to highlight their boldness.

“For example, veterans, service members or first responders might highlight how they have shown their commitment to serving others, despite personal costs,” Kuris says.

Personal adversity is another example of demonstrating boldness when faced with challenge.

“Many applicants write about determination in the face of challenging circumstances, such as people with disabilities or athletes who recover from setbacks,” Kuris says. “Such stories can be a great way to relate bravery to other personal qualities like resilience.”

Stories of adversity don’t always have to be overarching either.

“Law schools are not necessarily looking for superheroes; sometimes a humble story about learning from setbacks can be more effective,” Kuris adds.


Your personal statement and essays are the best areas to highlight courage in your law school application. Additionally, letters of recommendation can be another great opportunity to demonstrate your boldness.

“After all, stories of valor are more credible when told by an observer than by their own subject,” Kuris says. “There’s a reason heroic epics are rarely written from a first-person perspective.”

Sources: US News, US News

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