Here at IMAGE, when it comes to Amal Clooney née Alamuddin, we’ve nothing but praise for this hugely accomplished lawyer. Thoroughly intelligent – she is considered one of the top human rights lawyers in the world – and with an impeccable sense of style, she entered the public eye with an elegant grace following her high-profile marriage to actor George Clooney (who lovingly admitted that even he was a tad overwhelmed by her at times).
The couple recently celebrated their first anniversary together, but asides from accompanying her husband to a few public events, she has maintained a low profile and remained focused on her career; she counts Al Jazeera journalists detained in Egypt, Julian Assange, and the country of Armenia among her clients. She has also served as a Senior Advisor to Kofi Annan and is an expert on the legal implications of drone warfare. She launched a scholarship last year, and she is currently leading a case that is seeking the release of Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives who is being held on terrorism charges. It’s a major case, and on foot of her involvement, Clooney decided to give her first-ever interview to a US broadcaster, NBC’s Cynthia McFadden.
She started working on his case in September, and explained how just days before she arrived to meet Nasheed for the first time, her co-counsel on the case was seriously wounded. “It wasn’t the most comfortable position to be in, but you know, I was determined to go. It meant a lot to me to meet him, who I had read about and I considered a hero.”
Naturally, Clooney was also asked about her newfound status in the public eye, but she dismissed the notion of herself as a celebrity. “I think it’s wonderful that celebrities would choose to spend their time or energy or, you know, the spotlight that they have to raise awareness about these causes,” she said. “I don’t really see myself in the same way because I’m still doing the same job that I used to do before.”
Contrary to the UK’s Conservative justice minister implying that she uses her name to get work over ability, the British-Lebanese barrister has been working in her field for over 15 years, and the bulk of her major cases and clients predate her union with the Hollywood actor.
The presenter continued to push the topic, clearly alluding to the 37-year-old’s marital status, and Amal added if anything were to come from her being in the limelight, she would be using it to highlight the important human rights issues that mattered to her.
“If there’s more attention paid – for whatever reason – to that, then I think that’s good,” Clooney said. “I think there is a certain responsibility that comes with that. And you know, I think I’m exercising it in an appropriate manner by continuing to do this kind of work and engaging with the media on issues that I think are important.”
Take that, Associated Press.
You can see more of her interview below: