SEATTLE — Upon typing Amal Clooney’s name into Google, one is met with more than nine million hits and a Wikipedia box describing her as an international law and human rights lawyer. Yet, it is not until the very last link on the page that there is a headline about her career. Rather, the first 11 headlines hail from the likes of Vogue and Hollywood Reporter and are concerned with either her actor-husband George, her newborn twins or her latest fashion statement.
While those subjects have undeniable interest, they overshadow Clooney’s incredible career as one of the world’s most renowned and respected international human rights lawyers. Here are 10 facts about Amal Clooney’s incredible success story:
- Clooney is native to Lebanon, but at the age of two she fled to Europe with her family during the Civil War of 1982. Despite the struggles of being a youth refugee, Clooney excelled at school in the U.K.
- Clooney went on to study law at St. Hugh’s College Oxford and receive a Master of Laws from New York University. As a law student at NYU, Clooney had the opportunity to intern with future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Clooney is qualified to practice domestic law in both the U.S. and the U.K.
- After successfully practicing law in New York for a few years, she returned to London and joined the firm Doughty Street Chambers, which is famous for civil cases. She represents clients before international courts including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the European Court for Human Rights.
- Among her more famous clients is Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. She defends Assange on his extradition charges in Sweden.
- Clooney represented a group of Iraqi victims in the Yazidi Genocide v. ISIS case, trying the Islamic State for its atrocities and murders committed against the Yazidi people.
- Clooney also represents the Republic of Armenia in Perincek v. Switzerland for Perincek’s public denial of the Armenian Genocide.
- Aside from representing clients, Clooney additionally serves on many international conflict resolution panels and in international human rights investigations. One panel she belongs to is the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative that aims to unveil, condemn and reduce sexual crimes committed in war zones.
- One of the most impressive and influential facts about Amal Clooney was her appointment as counsel to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights investigating Syria’s use of armed drones.
- Due to her workload, Clooney had to turn down an invitation from the U.N. to join a three-person commission that would investigate possible war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
- Clooney now shares her wisdom and expertise with others by training judges and other U.N. investigators and teaching law courses. She has taught at reputable schools such as the University of London and is currently a visiting professor at Columbia Law School.
These facts about Amal Clooney and her accomplishments demonstrate her admirable character. Clooney, now also a wife and mother of two, does it all with grace, empathy and passion. At the young age of 39, she has already accomplished more than most lawyers dream of accomplishing in a lifetime, and it’s safe to say she’s just getting started.
– Catherine Fredette