The Stunning Transformation Of Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney is a perfect balance of brainpower and glamour. A Lebanese-British barrister, she crusades fiercely for the restoration of human rights of oppressed groups and seamlessly transitions into a vision of grace on the Hollywood red carpet when the occasion calls for it. Married to Oscar-winning actor and perennial heartthrob George Clooney, she has emerged as one of showbiz's most stylish icons and claimed fame that is separate from her husband's. But to her, the good fight of justice appears to override all else. "In terms of an increased public profile, I think all I can do is try to turn the spotlight to what is important. That can definitely benefit some clients," she once said in an interview for Time

From advising leaders of the United Nations to speaking for countries in turmoil, the projects 44-year-old Clooney takes on are wide-ranging (via Columbia Law School). Representing survivors of sexual assault and gender crimes at the risk of her own life, Clooney was on the legal team that oversaw the first conviction of a member of the Islamic State in a landmark judgment relating to the Yazidi genocide in 2021 (via the BBC). She has stated that she will pursue justice for victims of the genocide in Iraq "no matter the price" (via Reuters). 

From fleeing a conflict-ridden country to becoming a champion of human rights causes, here's the full chapter on the transformation of Amal Clooney's life. 

She hails from a refugee family from Lebanon

Amal Clooney's repertoire of work primarily involves fighting for the rights of migrants and refugees. The issue appears important to the barrister — understandably so, because she herself hails from a refugee family. Born in war-torn Lebanon in the capital of Beirut in 1978 as Amal Alamuddin, she moved with her family to the United Kingdom at a young age (per Hello! magazine). Her childhood in her native country was shadowed by the Lebanese Civil War, which involved 15 years of armed conflict (via Britannica). Her birth, however, signaled great hope for her parents. According to Clooney's mother, she was advised to terminate the pregnancy owing to health complications. She refused and the baby was born "exactly as [she] saw her" in her dreams (via Vogue). She was named Amal — "hope" in Arabic. 

After attending an all-girls school, Clooney pursued law at the University of Oxford, following it up with a course at New York University (via Hello!). She appears to wear the badge of her Lebanese-British identity proudly. "I am a refugee," she declared at an event in Canada in 2018 (via Arab News). Recognizing the safe environment and education she was given while growing up in the United Kingdom, Clooney said, "I wish that were happening in more places around the world." Her international portfolio includes several cases involving her home country of Lebanon, one of the most notable being the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

Amal Clooney wasn't always the confident woman she is today

Confidence doesn't come easy, even for someone like Amal Clooney, who stands as a powerhouse figure of poise and charm. "I remember all the stages in my career where I almost didn't have enough confidence to try for something," she told Vogue in 2018. Her hesitation, she revealed, stemmed from other people making her doubt the paths she wanted to take. It's apparent now that confidence has become one of Clooney's crowning qualities. A law professor in London with knowledge of Clooney claimed she is "supremely self-confident" (via People). 

There's more to the top attorney than meets the eye, though. It turns out she also has a stunning sense of humor, and is known in her social circles for her disarming wit. "There's no reason why lawyers can't be fun," Clooney said, per Vogue. For all the self-determination she has cultivated, Clooney is not shy about imparting lessons to the younger generations. "Be courageous. Challenge orthodoxy. Stand up for what you believe in," she urged students at Vanderbilt University in 2018, with words of wisdom guiding them to become changemakers (via Vanderbilt University). 

Clooney's aplomb isn't daunting for her screen actor husband George Clooney, who (if anything) is awed by it. He believes his wife is at the top of her game and is the very best at what she does (via Vogue).

She has made her place in Hollywood as a style icon

Amal Clooney may be renowned as a lawyer worth her salt, but there's no missing the mark she has made in the world of showbiz as a presiding fashion icon. By virtue of her spouse's vocation, Clooney has become a recurrent head-turner on red carpets and at film premieres. Hand-in-hand, Amal and George Clooney have clinched the status of the "classiest couple in Hollywood," per GQ, with endless memorable fashion moments. It was nothing short of iconic when Clooney pulled off a pantsuit bridal look on the day her wedding was formalized, or when she made her Met Gala debut in an exuberant red number. Grazia went gaga over her evening wardrobe, which includes a versatile variety from mini feathered dresses to sequined gowns. 

Clooney has graced endless luxury labels by rocking pieces from designers like Stella McCartney and Oscar de la Renta with easy sophistication (via Elle). And the barrister, whom Vogue has deemed the "queen of the party dress," knows how to let her hair down every once in a while. "Amal partied hard and worked hard," her mother said in an interview, dishing that they come from a family of party animals. She recalled how her daughter expertly balanced the sombreness of her profession and her propensity for style. Fashion boss Anna Wintour has even vouched for Clooney's significance, calling her "a force to be reckoned with" (via Vogue). 

Amal has worked extensively for the human rights of Yazidis

In the foreground of Amal Clooney's accomplished legal career is her vehement fight to bring the offenders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to justice. Responsible for the persecution of religious minorities in Iraq, ISIS leaders have been accused of instigating a genocide against the Yazidi community, involving brutal criminal acts from executions to rapes (via National Geographic). Nadia Murad, a Nobel Laureate who has emerged as one of Clooney's most high-profile clients, is an Iraqi Yazidi woman who has testified to being captured, enslaved, and tortured by ISIS (via The Guardian). 

Clooney and Murad — who have worked together since 2016 to fight for the Yazidi cause – marked the first-ever conviction of an ISIS member for genocide in 2021. "This is the moment Yazidis have been waiting for," Clooney, representing the female survivor, said at the time (via Nadia's Initiative). At her very first appearance at the United Nations in 2016, Clooney made a searing speech highlighting the human rights atrocities against Yazidis. "I am ashamed as a supporter of the United Nations that states are failing to prevent or even punish genocide ..." she stated at the forum (via NBC News). Calling ISIS violations the "worst system of sexual abuse and slavery of women" seen in her lifetime (per Time), the barrister has said the Yazidi cause stands as "a test of the whole international system."

She is ranked among the top lawyers in the UK

Amal Clooney's merit as an international human rights lawyer is well-established. The 44-year-old alumna of Oxford University works with Doughty Street Chambers and is counted among the brightest legal minds from Britain, as noted by the Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 directories (via Legal 500). Her rankings recognize her as a "very effective and focused advocate," with field testimonies venerating her intelligence and thoughtfulness. Clooney is fiercely passionate about her work and is serious about "not shying away from controversy" spurred on by her cases, according to a source quoted by People

With her "rare combination of intellectual depth and pragmatism," Clooney stands out prominently in her profession, having worked with significant entities like the U.K. attorney general's team and served as the senior advisor to the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan (via Doughty Street Chambers). Clooney's record shows she hasn't ever been fearful of taking a powerful stand, making statements in favor of persecuted journalists as well as criticizing silence from world leaders on issues of note (via Elle). 

"I'm guided by what I'm really outraged about and what I think I can actually try to influence," she said in an interview for Time. Along with her husband, Clooney helmed the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which claims to be "waging justice" for minorities and other oppressed groups facing human rights abuses. 

Her public life comes with some very real threats

Being Amal Clooney isn't easy. The Lebanese-British public figure, whose work as a human rights barrister puts her in the international spotlight, has had to withstand danger from terrorist outfits while continuing to fight the good fight. "We've had a lot of real threats, and we take them very seriously," her husband and Hollywood icon George Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter. Her work has drawn wrath, especially from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose victim, Nadia Murad, is legally represented by Clooney. 

However, Clooney seemingly remains undaunted in the face of danger. Back in 2015, she flew to the Maldives to represent ex-President Mohamed Nasheed after his counsel was stabbed by an assailant (via Arab News). George expressed that he was "very concerned with her being there" and wanted to join her, but she advised him against it (via People). 

There is also the issue of the safety of Clooney's children, given that her work puts her on the frontlines. "We don't really want our kids to be targets, so we have to pay attention to that," George once stated in a podcast interview (via The Hollywood Reporter). The "Ocean's Eleven" actor drew attention to this in an open letter in 2021, asking publications to refrain from publishing images of his children, while citing the nature of his wife's work that required them to "take as much precaution as [they] can to keep [their] family safe" (via Deadline).  

Amal changed her husband George Clooney's perception of marriage

Before meeting his wife Amal Clooney, actor George Clooney was seemingly determined to never board the marriage bandwagon. Following his divorce from actor Talia Balsam in 1992, Hollywood's eternally eligible bachelor declared, "I won't marry again," per InStyle. But when he crossed paths with the Lebanese-British barrister, who met him in Italy in 2013 through a common friend, something changed radically. "I was taken with her from the moment I saw her," George said about his first meeting with his future wife (via Vogue). Email exchanges turned into dinner dates and before long, a romance was brewing.

The couple's trip to Kenya sealed the deal for George, who decided to propose marriage in 2014 (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I was on my knee for like 20 minutes, I finally said, 'Look, I'm gonna throw my hip out,'" he said, recalling the moment Amal said yes, on "CBS Sunday Morning." 

If marriage came as a surprise to the "Out of Sight" actor, fatherhood was another happy thunderbolt. "I didn't know I'd have twins," he said, admitting to People that he was initially only up for parenting one child. But since becoming a father in 2017, George has been so involved that he apparently made sure their children's first word was "mama," Amal revealed. As for her, starting a family has been "a joy beyond anything I could ever have imagined" (via Time). 

Amal's home life balances her out

One would imagine that being an international human rights lawyer and Hollywood celebrity takes up a significant part of Amal Clooney's life. But the 44-year-old makes sure to stabilize her busy schedule with enough time for family. "I feel so lucky to have found a great love in my life, and to be a mother — this is how I get my balance," she told Philippine journalist Maria Ressa for Time, which named her on their Women of the Year list in 2022. Amal, who welcomed twins in 2017 with her husband George, is a doting and involved mother — so much so, that she decided to have only a part-time nanny for the children (via The Guardian). 

For Amal, the job of parenting sometimes comes with having to discipline her husband, who is apparently intent on teaching their children "terrible things." "And I really do enjoy teaching my children to do things that shock their mother," George joked (via Today). Even with her hands full, Amal has admirably managed to maintain strong ties with people who were in her life before marriage, as her friends have confirmed (per Vogue). It's a skill Amal has admitted to inheriting from her mother Baria Alamuddin, who also aced the work-life balance. Amal's mother, a journalist, "was always a working woman and someone who is independent and cared about her career and cared about being independent but also had balance," the barrister once said (via People). 

She advocates for young women to follow their dreams

"As women, we may not be a minority, but there is a bond that we all share. 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," Amal Clooney memorably said in a speech (per Vogue). The 44-year-old barrister is nothing short of a feminist icon — and for good reason. As an international public figure, Clooney continues to use her extensive influence and reach to advocate for women's empowerment and gender rights. In an interview for Time, she gave inspiring advice to young women: "Reach for the stars and believe in yourselves, and know that the only thing you can regret is not trying." 

As a human rights defender, Clooney has spent a considerable chunk of her work time on fighting for justice on behalf of women who are survivors of gender atrocities. The case of Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi woman who was captured by the Islamic State and to whom Clooney gave legal representation, is among her best known (via Global Citizen). Driven by outrage over the abuse of human rights, Clooney made a fierce call at the United Nations to bring leaders of the Islamic State on trial, as The Cut reported. Following Donald Trump's election as the U.S. president, Clooney urged women to stand up for each other and "commit everyday acts of feminism" (via HuffPost). 

Amal Clooney doesn't consider herself to be a celebrity

Amal Clooney, whose work and marriage to Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney has assigned her a prominent status as a public figure, maintains an ambivalent relationship with the shutterbugs. Though Clooney famously doesn't see herself as a celebrity (via Vanity Fair), the paparazzi flocks to her when she steps out. 

Life as a media darling was something that caught up with Clooney as soon as she began getting spotted on dates with her actor husband. George revealed that when they were once leaving dinner, "there were 50 paparazzi there. But she handled it like a champ" (via The Hollywood Reporter). The human rights barrister's influence was foregrounded well at the 2015 Golden Globes, when hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler listed her legal accomplishments, before proceeding to cite them as reasons her husband won a lifetime achievement award (per Time). 

According to Vogue, Clooney has managed to sidestep the shadow of her husband's mega-celebrity and carve her own place. She appears to have figured out a strategy to focus on the advantages her own fame brings. Appearing on the BBC, Clooney reflected that if the media attention she got highlighted human rights causes like that of the Yazidis, "then I think it's a really good thing to give that case the extra publicity that it may get."