Amal Clooney. Photo by GC Images.
What does she do? Amal Alamuddin, also known as Amal Clooney, is a Lebanese-British barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. She specializes in international law and human rights. Her clients are wide-ranging and in notoriously confusing legal battles; Clooney represents Julian Assange, the founder of Wiki Leaks, in his fight against extradition. She has also represented the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian journalist.
Who is she? Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Clooney and her family left the country during the 1980s Lebanese Civil War. They settled in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, in the United Kingdom. Clooney attended Dr Challoner’s High School, a girls’ grammar school, and studied at St. Hugh’s College at Oxford. There, she received an Exhibition and the Shrigley Award. She graduated with a BA in Jurisprudence, which is Oxford’s equivalent to the LLB. After graduating, she moved to America to study at the New York University School of Law to study for the LLM degree. She is qualified to practice as a lawyer in both the United States and in the United Kingdom.
In 2014, Clooney represented Canadian Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was held in Egypt. He was pardoned by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah a-Sisi. The next year, Clooney began work on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. She represented Armenia on behalf of Doughty Street Chambers, along with Geoffrey Robertson QC. Later in the year, she filed a case against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines before the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for the continued detention of Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She then took a case brought by the Irish government against the British government regarding illegal interrogation methods. She has spoken in front of the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime and is a signatory of UNICEF UK.
Why watch? Amal Clooney is one of the most impressive female law professionals in the world. She has received countless legal awards, was chosen as the Most Fascinating Person of 2015, and has been shortlisted for British Style awards. The cases she takes are some of the most interesting and important in the world—tracking her career is an excellent way to understand global conflict and human rights issues/violations.