The incredible life of international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney

Alison Millington
Wednesday 23 August 2017 14:07

Amal Clooney, born Amal Alamuddin, is one of the most powerful and respected international human rights lawyers in the world.

She also happens to be married to Hollywood actor George Clooney. Last week, the couple announced that they are expecting twins due in June.

From her education at Oxford and NYU to her career representing high-profile clients, including former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, we took a look at the incredible life of Amal Clooney.

Scroll down for a look into the life of the renowned lawyer and fashion icon.

This is 39-year-old human rights lawyer and style icon Amal Clooney, born Amal Alamuddin.

British Lawyer Amal Clooney leaves Downing Street in London.

She also happens to be the wife of 55-year-old Hollywood actor George Clooney.

(John Shearer/Invision/AP

She was born in Lebanon, but her family fled to Europe during the war of 1982, meaning she identifies with many of the refugees she meets.

Handout photo of Miliband, Clooney and Amal meeting with Syrian refugees in Berlin

When she and George met Syrian refugees in Berlin, she said: '[My family] also ran away from a war and were lucky enough to be accepted by a European country in 1982 when the violence there was really bad."

She got an English law degree from St. Hugh's College, Oxford; a Master of Laws (LLM) from NYU, and is fluent in Arabic and French.

She clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, a former federal appeals court judge, after graduating.

Her law firm, Doughty Street Chambers, recruited her to train as a barrister in 2010. She later joined its international law team full time.

She has gone on to become one of the world's most renowned international human rights lawyers.

(REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

She has represented everyone from former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to the country of Armenia in its fight for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Her work has also included advocating for Yazidi women, a religious minority in the Middle East which has been subjected to genocide at the hands of ISIS. In September, she said if yrian President Bashar Assad is prosecuted for war crimes, she "would be delighted to work on it."

"I think the UN has concluded that the Syrian government has committed crimes against humanity and war crimes," she said. "They are not the only ones, there are other actors who have committed the same crimes. But I think there's little doubt that that's what we're dealing with."

She represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his extradition case against Sweden in 2011...

(She represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his extradition case against Sweden in 2011... Yui Mok PA Archive/PA Images

...and represented the Greek government in its battle to reclaim 5th century BC Parthenon sculptures from Britain in 2014 and 2015.

(Pool / Getty

Here she is with former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, whom she helped to free from jail after 13 years.

(Chris Jackson / Getty

The UN found Nasheed's detention in violation of international law.

She met Hollywood actor George Clooney at a charity ­fundraising in Italy in 2013.

(Francesco Bellini AP/Press Association Images

The Daily Mirror reported that she played hard to get, but was eventually wooed by a "string of flirty emails."

When she refused to take his number, he reportedly emailed her saying: "I think the reported hottest man in the world should meet with the hottest human rights lawyer in the world."

Clooney said he knew very quickly he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Amal.

(Tristan Fewings / Getty

​He told Ellen Degeneres that he proposed at home to "a playlist of some of my aunt Rosemary's songs and I asked her." Lucky for him, despite being shocked, she said yes.

The couple married in Venice in September 2014, a year after they met.

She wore a Stella McCartney pant suit and hat to the civil ceremony, which took place at the city's town hall.

(Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters

The event was star-studded, with the guest list including the likes of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, a friend of Amal's.

(Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

For the star-studded wedding, she wore a hand-embroidered Oscar de la Renta dress with beads, crystals and 14 yards of Chantilly lace.

Here she is at a fitting with the designer before he passed away.

The reception was held at the Aman Canal Grande hotel.

(Barbara Zanon / Getty

The wedding photos were released to People and Hello! magazines, the highest bidders.

The money reportedly went to several human rights charities.

(People magazine

In 2015, Amal started teaching at Columbia Law School.

She began lecturing in the spring as a senior fellow with the Law School's Human Rights Institute. She is still listed on the University's Human Rights Faculty page as "Visiting Faculty."

In 2016, she and George met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss the plight of migrants trying to reach Europe.

(Osservatore Romano / Reuters

She also met with former British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the freeing of her client Mohamed Nasheed.


Somehow, she has found time in between high profile court cases and teaching to grace red carpets with her husband, such as the Cannes Film Festival...

(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

...or the Golden Globes, where George received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award in 2015.

In his speech, he thanked Amal.

"It's humbling to find somebody to love, especially when you've been waiting your whole life, especially when your whole life is 53 years... Amal, whatever alchemy brought us together, I couldn't be more proud to be your husband."

Host Tina Fey joked: "George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person UN commission investigating rules-of-war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award."

It would appear that the feeling is mutual.committed the same crimes. But I think there's little doubt that that's what we're dealing with."

(Clemens Bilan / Getty

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