5 Amazing Facts About Human Rights Lawyer Amal Clooney
She stays connected to her clients, embraces #MeToo, and knows how to party.
Vogue’s latest cover star is certainly a celebrated icon — but she’s no actress, model, or reality TV star.
She’s Amal Clooney, a human rights lawyer who champions humanitarian causes around the world and confronts some of the world’s most disturbing human rights abuses. Over the past few years, Clooney has advocated for the rights of young Yazidi women kidnapped and raped by ISIS and recently joined the legal team representing two Reuters journalists who were imprisoned in Myanmar while reporting on the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Clooney had already developed quite a reputation as a successful lawyer when mutual friends introduced her to the actor George Clooney. After developing a close friendship, the two began dating and ultimately married in 2014. Their union further raised the profile of Amal Clooney and the causes she champions.
Like Clooney, Global Citizen campaigns on ensuring that everyone in the world achieves equal human rights. You can take action here.
On Tuesday, Vogue published a profile of the human rights activist, revealing that Clooney not only advocates for important causes around the world — she also knows how to party. Here are five need-to-know facts from the profile:
1// She’s helping other women succeed in human rights law
Clooney has long been a notable human rights lawyer and she is committed to guiding other women who want to pursue a similar career path.
“I remember all the stages in my career where I almost didn’t have enough confidence to try for something [and] almost didn’t have the guts to follow something I was excited about doing, because I didn’t know anyone else who’d done it or other people made me question it,” she told Vogue.
2// So, of course, she’s an advocate of the #MeToo movement
“As women we may not be a minority, but there is a bond that we all share,” Clooney said in a speech a year and a half ago. “It is not a bond of geography. Or religion. Or culture. It is a bond of shared experience—experiences that only women go through, and struggles that only women face.”
That same sentiment has led Clooney to embrace the #MeToo movement as a pivotal step toward equal rights.
“I think because of the brave women who have come forward to tell their stories, the future workplace will be safer for my daughter than it was for people of my generation,” Clooney told Vogue. “We’re in a situation where a predator feels less safe and a professional woman feels more safe, and that’s where we need to be.”
3// She stays connected with the human rights champions she represents.
When Vogue visited Clooney at her home in London, human rights advocate Nadia Murad was also in attendance. The two have worked closely together since Clooney began representing Murad and other members of the Yazidi community who were systematically murdered, raped, and abused by ISIS.
After escaping captivity, Murad became a champion for the rights of Yazidis and a leading advocate against ISIS war crimes. Clooney appeared beside Murad on the floor of the United Nations in 2016 and spoke powerfully in support of the Yazidis.
“Not many people stepped up to help as she did,” Murad told Vogue. “I was surprised that someone like her—a successful lawyer with a strong record—would help us. We’re a very small community.”
4// Despite her pedigree, she has paid her dues
After graduating from Oxford University’s law school, Clooney traveled to the US to study at New York University. During her time at NYU, she completed an externship with US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who back then served as a judge in a US Circuit Court.
Armed with two prominent diplomas and some amazing legal experience, Clooney took a job at a high-profile law firm defending Enron auditors. But she felt more fulfilled by her pro bono work. So in 2004, Clooney accepted a $20,000 salary — a pittance for attorneys — at the UN’s International Court of Justice.
5// She knows how to party
Clooney may be a powerful attorney tackling some of the world’s most challenging issues, but she still knows how to have fun.
“All my family, we are party animals,” Clooney’s mother Baria Alamuddin, a prominent political reporter, told Vogue. “Amal partied hard and worked hard.