What You Don't Know About Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney is the elegant, extraordinarily gifted human-rights barrister, with an astonishing resumé that unapologetically upstages her infinitely flawless steps on every red carpet. She is a fierce advocate for the people, while living that luxury life of the elite. From her heart-stopping designer gowns, to awe-inspiring speeches, she has an effortless grace and a sure confidence that draws the kind of attention not commonly granted to lawyers.

With Hollywood's most eligible bachelor-turned-husband on her arm, Amal Clooney shines brighter with every brilliant move she makes. At the 2015 Golden Globes, host Tina Fey painted a quick picture of the Clooneys, joking, "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!" Having practiced law for over 15 years, and with an unrelenting taste for perfectly appointed couture, Amal proves she's got the guts — and the mind — to change the world, and look good doing it.

Amal Clooney didn't grow up wanting to be arm candy

"George Clooney is lucky to have a girl like Amal," Rafeh Khodr, a restaurant owner from Amal Clooney's ancestral hometown of Baakline in the mountains outside Beirut, Lebanon, told NBC News. "She's very well-educated, and a very well-esteemed person around here." Amal was just 2 years old in 1980, when her family fled Beirut to escape civil war, opting for a stable life in Buckinghamshire, London. But her personal achievements are still very much treasured by the Lebanese Druze community she left behind. "Amal is an outstanding person and we are very proud of her," Jamil Rajah, Baakline's deputy mayor, also shared with NBC News. "Quite aside from her marriage to George, she has made a name for herself as a talented lawyer."

Accounting for both her brains and her looks, Amal Alamuddin was born in February 1978, to her father Ramzi, a university professor, and mother Baria, a former beauty queen-turned journalist. The model-esque barrister's sought-after style pales only in comparison to her prominent career. And to this, one of Hollywood's most charmingly talented celebs met his match. Almost. "Just look at what she's done to George Clooney, reducing our American prince to the status of adorable sidekick," New York Magazine quipped.

Amal Clooney swept Hollywood's career bachelor off his feet

In a dashing romance ripped from the pages of the greatest love story of all time, Amal Clooney and George Clooney met in Italy when she was 36 and he was 53. And he was the one falling head-over-heels. "It was one of those funny things," Clooney shared with Ellen DeGeneres (via Elle). "From the minute we met, we just hit it off. And from the minute we met, we just sort of felt like we were going to be together." Going public with their romance in late 2013, the glamorous couple were first spotted together in London, then vacationing in Mexico, and soon after at a White House screening of Clooney's film The Monuments Men, People reported.

Clooney told Entertainment Tonight (via Glamour) why he fell in love with her in the first place, "She's an amazing human being. And she's caring. And she also happens to be one of the smartest people I've ever met. And she's got a great sense of humor. There's a number of reasons why." But their dreamy relationship developed the tiny flaws of any coupling. "I watch sports and it kills her because I got her into March Madness a little," Clooney shared with Extra (via People). "She got into that... but the next week was the Masters, and I'm watching that and she goes, 'So every weekend we're gonna be watching a sporting event.' I'm like, 'Actually, that's how it works.'"

Amal Clooney almost ruined George Clooney's marriage proposal

Six months after coming out as a couple, George Clooney's intimate proposal at his Los Angeles residence went off... with a few hitches. According to Clooney's account on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, "I plotted the whole thing out. I had the ring hidden... I had music playing — my Aunt Rosemary's [song] 'Why Shouldn't I?' I've cooked dinner. And she comes in and she's just come back from London. And... she's like maybe we'll just order in and I go, 'No, no, no, I've made dinner.' I've got it all set up, timed out, and the song is coming and [Amal] gets up to go wash the dishes, which she's never done." He went on, "And I'm like, 'What are you doing?' and she comes back in. And finally I said, 'I blew out the candle and I said I think the lighter's in the box behind you.' And she... pulls [the ring] out, and she looks at it, and she's like, 'It's a ring,' like as if somebody had left it there some other time." 

Needless to say, she said yes. Oh, and that engagement ring? "It features an ethically mined emerald-cut diamond estimated at 7-plus carats and two tapered baguettes set in platinum," People disclosed. We bet Amal Clooney was pleased!

Amal Clooney had a fairytale wedding

"He is the man every woman wants to hug," Amal Clooney gushed to Vogue in 2014, on the brink of her first taste of married life at the age of 36. And no, she wasn't talking about groom George Clooney — she was talking about the famous designer of her dress, Oscar de la Renta! She continued, "George and I wanted a wedding that was romantic and elegant, and I can't imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress... he is so warm and such a gentleman."

"The most envied bride-to-be since Catherine Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge," according to Vogue, George and Amal Clooney said "I do" in a romantic ceremony in Venice, Italy in September 2014. The couple were married at Aman Canal Grande Venice, in front of 100 close friends and family, including Bill Murray, Matt Damon, Bono, Cindy Crawford, Anna Wintour, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, and Ellen Barkin. The wedding weekend kicked off with three days of parties, culminating in an intimate and emotional civil ceremony. And the couple wouldn't have celebrated their union anywhere else in the world. George told People, "We met in Italy. We have a home there. We knew that was where we wanted to get married."

Amal's mother, Baria, shared with People, "George and Amal radiated love all night. The wedding was so unbelievably special, it was legendary. These three days — the friends, the families, the atmosphere, everything — will stay with me all the rest of my life." George, then 53, described finally tying the knot, simply saying it "feels pretty damn great." With a wife like Amal Clooney, we'd have to agree!

Amal Clooney's a fierce activist for women's rights

"I'm ashamed as a woman that girls... today have their bodies sold and used as battlefields, and I'm ashamed as a woman that we ignore their cries for help," Amal Clooney urged a captivated audience in a speech at the Texas Conference for Women in November 2016. Quoting Hillary Clinton, she continued, "Women's rights are human rights. Holding back women is holding back half of every country in the world."

New York Magazine's Heather Havrilesky described Amal's very essence, "If you drew a Venn diagram of what the world wants from a feminist superhero — and by the world, I mean feminist scholars, People readers, fashion bloggers, and guys who buy Maxim — the middle circle would include Amal and Amal only. This is a circle that, for decades, we've been told, or told ourselves, was a null set — impossible to enter." Seemingly unconcerned with much ado about herself, Amal Clooney continues to serve up inspiring gems, urging women to perform "every day acts of feminism" during her speech in Texas.

Amal Clooney nails every look

"In this desk-to-dinner, sweatpants-on-the-red-carpet world, Amal is doing something truly unusual that made her compulsively watchable: she is the last woman standing who dresses for the occasion," Vanity Fair asserted in 2015. From film festival, to world summit, to dinner on the town, Amal Clooney always knows what to wear — thanks to a lifelong inspiration, her mother, Baria. "I think growing up my mother was definitely a role model, she was always a working woman and someone who is independent and cared about her career and cared about being independent but also had balance," she shared during the Texas Conference for Women. "She never lost her femininity and she believed the balance was important and that is something that stuck with me."

"[Amal's] clearly seized the moment, and could very well be on her way to becoming one of the great style icons of our day," Bergdorf Goodman fashion director Linda Fargo wrote (via Vanity Fair). "And not just because of what she chooses to wear, but because underneath the clothes, we admire her intelligence, activism, globalism, and her clear confidence in her own skin."

Amal Clooney cares about animals' lives too

This human-rights lawyer has a heart of gold for people and animals. Just last year, in 2015, Amal Clooney and husband George Clooney adopted a 4-year-old basset hound named Millie from the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society in California. Adorably droopy-eared Millie, a match made on PetFinder, moved in with cocker spaniel brothers Louie and Einstein, who are previous rescues by the Clooneys. And their adoptions didn't stop there! For Christmas 2015, the Clooneys rescued another pup, Nate the terrier, from Luv Fur Mutts in Cincinnati. This time, the adoption was made for Clooney's parents, who had recently lost their 10-year-old terrier.

The duo loves their pups so much, Amal Clooney has even visited her husband on his Money Monster film set in New York City with Einstein and Louie in tow.

Amal Clooney wore the same dress as Kate Middleton

The human-rights lawyer's wardrobe might be infinitely covetable, but Amal Clooney pulls her own inspiration from stylish female icons, too. After the famously chic Duchess Kate Middleton wore an Alexander McQueen dress to Wimbledon in July of 2016, Amal was spotted heading to a Refugee Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City, wearing a strikingly similar McQueen dress. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this fashion twinning is a next level compliment!

Amal Clooney eats (half of) whatever she wants

The willowy lawyer frequents some of the hottest, most exclusive restaurants in NYC, London, Venice, and LA — but you won't find her pretending to eat a side salad when she goes out. People disclosed the menu while the Clooneys were on holiday in Italy in 2015. Restaurant owner Paolo Quarantotto told the magazine, "[Amal] orders whatever she feels like, even if it is a starter, a plate of homemade pasta and a dessert. If we have a special dish of the day, both George and Amal will have a taste along with whatever they order."

Prior to that trip, at a dinner at Patsy's Italian Restaurant in midtown Manhattan, the pair shared chicken breast tre colore and penne with spicy marinara, the New York Post reported. Patsy's executive chef Sal Scognamillo says Amal Clooney chose a half-order because "American portions are probably very big." While her weight is under constant scrutiny in gossip rags, Amal masterfully reframes the discussion. At the New Friends New Life luncheon in Dallas, TX earlier this year (an event that raised $1 million for anti-trafficking), she admitted, "I don't usually follow those publications, and I know not to read the comments." She also acknowledged that an unwanted spotlight on frivolous issues can also be used as a spotlight on the important ones.

Amal Clooney really rocks that barrister robe

To say she is an accomplished human-rights lawyer is like saying bacon is... okay. Mark Stephens, a colleague of Amal Clooney's, described her as "a fabulously bright woman... independent, and [having] a Rolls-Royce mind," in the UK's Evenings Standard newspaper, according to NBC News. In the early 2000s, she earned a BA/LLB from University of Oxford's St Hugh's College, as well as a Masters of Law degree from NYU's School of Law. She then worked for Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, when Sotomayor was simply a judge in Second Circuit.

Since accepting a prestigious position as barrister in London, "[Amal] has represented clients in cases before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as in domestic courts in the UK and the US. [Amal] has also represented controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings in the UK and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuila Tymonshenko before the European Court of Human Rights," Forbes reported. She has published articles and books, she has given lectures, and she has been on faculty at Columbia University.

So, what question is asked of her most? What are you wearing? When a reporter from The Telegraph (via Time) posed the tired query, Amal Clooney played along, replying "Ede and Ravenscroft" — maker of drab black legal robes since 1689.

Amal Clooney supports girls with a scholarship program

As if we needed more proof that Amal Clooney is on an unstoppable trajectory toward ever more greatness, she's also helping young women jumpstart their own movements. In late 2015, she launched the Amal Clooney Scholarship for Lebanese girls, an award that acknowledges "exemplary academic performance and demonstrable interest in the promotion of human rights and international issues." Lebanon-born, Amal has been able to give back to her community in extraordinary ways. Every year, the program sends one deserving female Lebanese student to a two-year international program at United World College in Dilijan, Armenia. It is a partnership launched with 100 LIVES, a global organization bringing awareness to the Armenian genocide. "This scholarship will give young women from Lebanon the opportunity of a lifetime," Amal shared with the LA Times. "Cross-cultural learning and studying abroad can be transformative. I am grateful to 100 LIVES for helping to open doors for these bright and talented young women."

And about international study, she speaks from experience. She graduated from both Oxford University and New York University. "As a leading human rights barrister and campaigner, Amal Clooney is an inspirational role model for young women around the world. She exemplifies integrity, compassion and dedication — and typifies what it means to be a global citizen across all cultures," Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES, shared with Marie Claire. The first recipient of the award was 16-year-old Pamela Tebchrany, who graduated top of her class and speaks Arabic, French and English fluently. She reportedly planned to use her scholarship to "pursue studies in human rights and women's equality."

Amal Clooney always stuns on the red carpet

She may not have been gunning for the limelight, but make no mistake: Amal Clooney stands out from the crowd whenever she walks the red carpet. Reportedly coached by none other than Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour on what to wear, Amal's got a style husband George Clooney describes as, "Amazing, because, she's always had this insanely... it's eccentric but it's a fun sense of fashion. How she does it while she's got 11 cases she's working on, and she was teaching at Columbia, and she's still like, 'I want to wear that dress.' It's crazy. It has been sort of fascinating to watch, because she has such great taste," according to Entertainment News (via Vogue). Amal made her Cannes Film Festival debut in 2016, in a jaw-dropping yellow silk Atelier Versace gown, and red lip that was so radiant, we almost forgot about lil' old George!

Amal Clooney met the Pope in style

Amal Clooney continues to reign as acclaimed heroine of her ancestral hometown of Baakline, Lebanon. A small village in the hills above Beirut, it is the adopted motherland of her family's heritage — part of the tight-knit, esoteric Druze community. While she may have ties to the ancient Shiite Muslim offshoot, it was her reverential respect of the Catholic church that caught media buzz during a visit with the Pope in spring of 2016 in Vatican City, Italy.

Much to critics' delight, and to no one's surprise, George and Amal Clooney were both properly primed and polished for their visit. "The basic rule is modesty and respect," Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, told The Hollywood Reporter. Men and women are expected to go modestly formal, with women often utilizing long sleeves and a knee-length skirt. Amal subtly channeled Jackie Kennedy, when she arrived in a chic black Atelier Versace dress, turban-esque hat, and Jimmy Choo heels. Clooney was there to be honored with a medal for his collaboration with Pope Francis' Scholas Occurrentes, "an international organization of pontifical right that connects technology with arts and sports," according to Vanity Fair, but it was Amal who won best dressed that night!

Amal Clooney repped ISIS survivor Nadia Murad

"I don't think anyone can feel that they're being courageous compared to what Nadia is doing," Amal Clooney said in an interview with NBC's Cynthia McFadden (via People). After meeting 21-year-old Yazidi activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad, Clooney officially accepted the case in September 2016, saying, "She made me make the decision because I met her and I just thought, I can't walk away from this."

In a moving speech during a ceremony in which Murad was named a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Clooney confirmed her own deep passion for these causes as well. Detailing Murad's experience as ISIS invaded her village in 2014, she described Murad as "one of 6,700 Yazidis taken by ISIS... to be sold in markets and on Facebook for $20... Nadia's mother was one of 80 older women who were executed and buried in an unmarked grave. Her brothers [were] part of a group of 600 who were murdered in a single day." Murad escaped, but only after "a hellish three months in which she was raped by a dozen men and prayed for death," NBC reported. Clooney stated, "It's been harrowing to hear the testimony of girls as young as 11 and 12 talk about what's happened to them. And still we haven't been able to do anything about it."

Amal Clooney's unexpected but welcome pregnancy

While George and Amal Clooney were dating, there was never any talk about having children. "It had never been part of my DNA," George admitted to The Hollywood Reporter. It wasn't until after the couple married that they started to discuss the possibility. "After the wedding, Amal and I were talking and we just felt we'd gotten very lucky, both of us," George shared, "and we should share whatever good luck we've got." Still, Amal's pregnancy came as a shock. Upon being told they were expecting twins, George said he and Amal "just sat there, staring at that piece of paper they give you, and I kept thinking there was a mistake."

Amal's pregnancy may have rocked the couple's world, but their lives proceeded on as usual. "You know, everything is conceptual until it's real," George explained. Amal continued to work — and that meant we got to see her chic take on a professional maternity wardrobe, which involved everything from colorful shift dresses to fitted suits. Her off-work attire was also on point. While accompanying her husband at the César Film Awards Ceremony in Paris, France, she glowed in a form-fitting white dress.

Amal Clooney has found a perfect balance

Amal Clooney knows that law and fashion don't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, she's had an eye for fashion for about as long as she's been passionate about human rights. Her mother told Vogue that Clooney used to raid her closet. "I'd say, 'What are you doing?' She'd give me this legal argument that went on and on."

Clooney hasn't changed — at least not in that way. She admitted that she does sometimes get frustrated when her wardrobe receives more coverage than her legal cases, but Vogue insisted that she's "at peace with a balance of fashion in her life."

Clooney's balancing expertise has even extended into motherhood. "Between six and eight in the morning we get to have [the twins] in our bed — I don't schedule any calls before eight," Amal explained to VogueThe Hollywood Reporter journalist Stephen Galloway also noted Clooney's evenhandedness, writing that she "focused on the children except for a few brief moments when the conversation turns to her work." While Clooney excels in balancing family with work and fashion, she doesn't desire more children. "I'm 39," she shared. "I already had them quite late."

Amal Clooney's awesome because she's always herself

Whether she's slaying it on the red carpet or laying down the law in court, Amal Clooney achieves her enviable success by truly being herself. She might be wearing Alice + Olivia to walk her dog, or twinning in couture with her hubs on vacation, but we dig her genuine spirit just as much we love swooning over her luxury lifestyle. With the brains to boot, she's a brilliant modern woman who has it all, and wants women everywhere to "own it" too.