Amal Ramzi Alamuddin (born 3 February 1978) is a London-based British-Lebanese lawyer, activist, and author. Specializing in international law, criminal law, human rights, and extradition, Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1978.
During the 1980s, when the Lebanese Civil War was in full scale, Alamuddin’s family left for London and settled in Gerrards Cross. Her mother, Baria, is the foreign editor of the Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat.
Her father, Ramzi, a retired professor of business studies at the American University of Beirut, returned to Lebanon in 1991 and is from a prominent Lebanese Druze family. Alamuddin has three younger siblings – a sister, Tala, and two brothers, Samer and Ziad. At St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence (Oxford’s equivalent to the LLB) in 2000.
The following year, in 2001, she entered New York University Law School to study for the Master of Laws degree. 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.
Following her studies at NYU, she practiced at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City for three years. In 2004, she worked at the International Court of Justice and was one of two NYU-sponsored clerks at the Court. She clerked under Judge Vladen S. Vereshchetin from Russia and Judge Nabil Elaraby from Egypt.
She moved to London in 2010 to begin work as a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Different than a lawyer in U.S. courts, a barrister can speak in court on behalf of clients but does not seek out or work with them directly.
That role is held by a solicitor, another type of legal representative. The Lebanese beauty, which the media has portrayed as an Anne Hathaway look-a-like, differs from Clooney’s past ex-girlfriends, a long roster of supermodels and actresses.
Her career blends humanitarian law and international politics. One of her clients is the controversial figure Julian Assange, responsible for leaking a massive amount of diplomatic cables between American officials.
She also advises many governments on international law and has previously consulted for former U.N. envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan. She has also represented the state of Cambodia, the former Libyan intelligence chief Abdallah al-Senussi, and Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
It is Syria, however, that appears to have brought Clooney and Alamuddin together. A source told People magazine that George and Amal were initially just friends and merely “working on a satellite program over Syria. Clooney himself has been doing plenty of humanitarian work in Africa and the Middle East.
In 2015, an entertainment reporter asked Amal Clooney what designer label she would be wearing to an upcoming event. Her response of “Ede & Ravenscroft” – the centuries-old maker of official robes and garments for British judges and legal professionals – went viral, and spoke volumes about her stance of being much more than just a famous actor’s wife.