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Amal Alamuddin: Her Rise as a Top Notch Attorney

While many of us may not have heard of 36-year old Amal Alamuddin until she recently became engaged to actor George Clooney,  Alamuddin has  long made a name for herself as a top human rights lawyer.  Born in Lebanon and raised in England, Alamuddin is an honors graduate from St. Hugh’s College at Oxford University.  She then received a law degree from New York University Law School.  While Clooney is an award-winning actor, starring in box office successes such as Ocean’s Eleven, The Perfect Storm, and Gravity, Alamuddin has made a name for herself in legal circles by representing or advising international notables such as Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and the King of Bahrain.

After graduating from law school Alamuddin clerked for then Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor and joined top New York law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, as an associate in its Criminal Defense and Investigations Group where she represented one-time corporate big-shots Enron Inc. and Arthur Andersen.

In 2010 Alamuddin joined Doughty Street Chambers, a London law firm that specializes in international law, human rights, criminal law and extradition.  In addition to practicing law, she is a legal scholar, having co-edited the book The Law and Practice of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and co-authored an article in the Journal of International Criminal Justice.  And, by the way, she was also named #1 on the list of the “21 Hottest Barristers in London,” by Your Barrister Boyfriend.

So why Clooney…besides the fact that he is a gorgeous, wealthy celebrity?  While Clooney is best known for his acting, in some ways he is not so different from Alamuddin.  Clooney is also well known of political activism and human rights work.  For example, he is an outspoken advocate for the resolution of the Darfur conflict and starred in the 2007 documentary Darfur Now which examines the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

As for Alamuddin, it will be interesting to follow her still young legal career.  In law school she seemed to be destined to gravitate toward entertainment law, having won an award for excellence in entertainment law while at NYU.  However, it seems clear that her passion has become international law and human rights law.  Her union with Clooney will likely strengthen both their efforts in the human rights arena.  Only time will tell…..

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