Amal Alamuddin is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in international law and human rights.
Let’s find out some intriguing facts about her!
1. Amal Alamuddin was born 3 February 1978 in Beirut, Lebanon, however, during the 1980s Lebanese Civil War, the Alamuddin family left Lebanon and settled in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
2. She was two years old at the time.
3. Her father, Ramzi Alam Uddin, from a Lebanese Druze family from Baakline (a village in the Chouf district), received his MBA degree at the American University of Beirut and was the owner of COMET travel agency, returned to Lebanon in 1991.
4. Her mother, Bariaa Miknass, from a family of Sunni Muslims from Tripoli in Northern Lebanon, is a foreign editor of the Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat and a founder of the public relations company International Communication Experts, which is part of a larger company that specializes in celebrity guest bookings, publicity photography, and event promotion.
5. She has three siblings—one sister, Tala, and two half-brothers, Samer and Ziad, from her father’s first marriage.
6. Alamuddin attended Dr Challoner’s High School, a girls’ grammar school located in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire. She then studied at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she received an Exhibition and the Shrigley Award.
7. In 2000, Alamuddin graduated with a BA degree in Jurisprudence (Oxford’s equivalent to the LLB) from St. Hugh’s College, Oxford.
8. The following year, in 2001, she entered New York University School of Law to study for the LLM degree, where she was a clerk for the clerkships program at the International Court of Justice.
9. She received the Jack J. Katz Memorial Award for excellence in entertainment law.
10. For one semester while at NYU, she worked as a student law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the offices of Sonia Sotomayor, who is now on the Supreme Court of the United States.
11. Alamuddin is qualified to practice as a lawyer in the United States and the United Kingdom. She was admitted to the Bar in New York in 2002 and in England & Wales in 2010. She has also practiced at international courts in The Hague including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
12. Alamuddin worked at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City for three years as part of the Criminal Defense and Investigations Group, where her clients included Enron and Arthur Andersen.
13. In 2004, she completed a judicial clerkship at the International Court of Justice. She clerked under Judge Vladen S. Vereshchetin from Russia, Judge Nabil Elaraby from Egypt, and ad hoc Judge Sir Franklin Berman from the United Kingdom.
14. She was subsequently based in The Hague working in the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
15. Alamuddin returned to Britain in 2010, where she became a barrister in London (Bar of England & Wales, Inner Temple) at Doughty Street Chambers.
16. In 2013 Alamuddin was appointed to a number of United Nations commissions, including as adviser to Special Envoy Kofi Annan on Syria and as Counsel to the 2013 Drone Inquiry by UN human rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC into the use of drones in counter-terrorism operations.
17. Alamuddin has been involved in high-profile cases representing the state of Cambodia, the former Libyan intelligence chief Abdallah Al Senussi, Yulia Tymoshenko and Julian Assange, and was an adviser to the King of Bahrain in connection with the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry headed by Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni.
18. For the spring 2015 and 2016 academic semesters, Alamuddin was a visiting faculty member and a senior fellow with Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.
19. She was a co-professor with Sarah H. Cleveland in Cleveland’s course on human rights and taught a class on human rights litigation to students in the school’s Human Rights Clinic.
20. Alamuddin has also lectured students on international criminal law at the Law School of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, The New School in New York City, The Hague Academy of International Law, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
21. Alamuddin was chosen as Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2014.
22. At the 2014 British Fashion Awards Alamuddin was shortlisted for Best British Style alongside David Beckham, Kate Moss, Keira Knightley and Emma Watson.
23. Alamuddin is the president of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which she co-founded with her husband George Clooney in late 2016 to advance justice in courtrooms, communities, and classrooms around the world.
24. Clooney partnered with the global initiative 100 Lives in beginning the Amal Clooney Scholarship, which was created to send one female student from Lebanon to the United World College Dilijan each year, to enroll in a two-year international baccalaureate programme.
25. Amal Alamuddin is fluent in English, French and conversational Arabic.
26. Her father is Lebanese Druzeand her mother is a Lebanese Sunni Muslim.
27. Some reports have described Alamuddin as a Muslim.
28. She became engaged to actor George Clooney on 28 April 2014.
29. Her first name is derived from Arabic أمل ʾamal, meaning “hope”.
30. In July 2014, George Clooney publicly criticised the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail after it claimed his fiancée’s mother opposed their marriage on religious grounds. When the tabloid apologised for its false story, he refused to accept the apology. He called the paper “the worst kind of tabloid. One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers.”
31. On 7 August 2014, the couple obtained marriage licences at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London.
32. They married on 27 September 2014 in Venice’s city hall (at Ca’ Farsetti), following a high profile wedding ceremony two days earlier, also in Venice.
33. They were married by Clooney’s friend Walter Veltroni, a former mayor of Rome.
34. In October 2014, it was announced that the Clooneys had bought the Mill House on an island in the River Thames at Sonning Eye in England at a cost of around £10 million.
35. On 9 February 2017, it was reported by the CBS talk show, “The Talk,” that Alamuddin was pregnant, and that she and her husband are expecting twins.