Unfortunate but true, after her marriage, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is often recognised more for being the spouse of popular actor George Clooney, despite having an illustrious career of her own.
"Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected for a three-person UN commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip, so tonight her husband is getting a
Lifetime Achievement Award," said hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in their opening monologue of 2015 Golden Globes.
However, despite the downside of an elevated public profile, Amal now has an easier platform for amassing awareness for marginalised groups. And as it often happens for women, there are tabloid gossips around the lawyer questioning her competence – "Too beautiful to be a serious lawyer?" But a simple look at Amal Clooney's works and achievements speaks otherwise.
Appreciated where it matters
Amal Clooney's most recent appointment speaks volumes of her aptitude.
In an effort to provide justice to the persecuted Rohingya community, Maldives has formally joined the African Muslim majority country The Gambia. In line with that, Maldives appointed Amal Clooney to represent their cause at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Even with many successful cases to her name, representing the Rohingyas – securing their human rights while convicting Myanmar for their genocidal actions against the Rohingyas – can still be difficult for Amal given the complicated and sensitive nature of the case.
Besides tackling international cases and working as a legal advisor to governments and individuals, Amal Clooney is also a visiting professor at the Columbia Law School.
According to leading legal directories Chambers and Partners, and Legal 500, Amal is ranked among the top lawyers in the UK in the fields of international human rights and international criminal law.
Amal "attracts plaudits for her ability to handle complex [international criminal] proceedings in difficult cases," according to the rankings. She is also considered a "key operator in the field of international human rights."
Legal commentators regard Amal as an exceptionally intelligent and bright lawyer who is skilled and thoughtful in approaching a complex case. Added to that, she has "a great understanding of ICC [International Criminal Court] practices."
At present, Amal can represent clients at various international courts, including International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. She can work domestic cases both in the USA and the UK.
An illustrious lawyer
Amal Clooney's accomplishments as a lawyer are many. She served as a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN's Envoy in Syria, served as Counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones, led by the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.
Currently she is one of the members of the UK's team of experts on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones. She has also been appointed to the UK Attorney General's expert panel to advise and represent the UK government in the area of public international law.
Amal Clooney, so far, has worked for the London Bar, in The Hague with UN-sponsored justice mechanisms, and also for the New York Bar. She speaks English, French and (conversational) Arabic.
In the past, Amal has represented Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and others seeking accountability for genocide and other atrocities perpetrated by ISIS, the Maldives' former president Mohamed Nasheed, and Julian Assange, head of
Wikileaks, in extradition proceedings in the UK.