Setting a High Bar for Success

Danielle pushed beyond any low expectations—far beyond.
Split image of Danielle with credentials around her neck and a head shot of her smiling.

Danielle has been an achiever all her life. She started with sports as a youngster, back when she was teased and bullied in school. Some people had low expectations for a child with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability; her family and coaches knew better. They also knew Danielle was a hard worker, who trained until she got it right.

She's gone from Special Olympics athlete to coach, volunteer, and local Board Member. But she didn't stop there. Danielle worked her way to academic success in high school, then pushed forward through college. She didn't aim for just one major field of study at the College of St. Benedict—she wanted two: Peace Studies and Theology. She graduated with a distinguished double major, then won the Peace First Prize, a two-year fellowship to advance the work of creating peaceful and supportive schools and communities. Next on her list of goals? Law school.

Danielle worked diligently to apply to—and get accepted by—the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. She brought her high standards to every rigorous class, impressing her professors and fellow students alike. She emerged with what’s believed to be the first law degree earned by a person with an intellectual disability. Passing the Law Bar exam was the next, somewhat intimidating, step. Though she didn’t pass, Danielle did not get discouraged…because Danielle does not give up. A few months ago, Danielle passed the California Bar exam on her second attempt.

According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the passage rate for repeat takers of the Bar exam is only 36%. Once again, Danielle is beating the odds.

She continues to be a role model to all—and a champion of the Revolution is Inclusion. Learn more about her story.

Danielle Liebl

As we move forward, we need to know you’re with us. Be a revolutionary and help end discrimination against people with Intellectual Disabilities.
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