A lot of humanitarians with celebrity status, such as Oprah or Bono, held fame before they became advocates for the disadvantaged. The opposite is true for Amal Clooney. Before she married George Clooney, she was a highly respected international human rights lawyer and still is to this day. Her marriage to George Clooney only helped to give her a greater platform to spread awareness of human rights issues.

Yet with so much of her work put through tabloids instead of other sources, it can be difficult for those interested to keep up with what she is doing. Many have a question regarding what it is that international human rights lawyers do and how they are different from other types of lawyers. Sara Elizabeth Drill, the criminal justice standards and policy director for the American Bar Association, says that human rights lawyers were once thought as frilly, “hippie” lawyers. That changed ever since Amal Clooney came into the action.

Clooney has been working for Britain’s Doughty Street Chambers since 2010 where she works in international criminal law, international law and human rights. Before that, she was employed as a defense attorney with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. Clooney is not only known for her defense of imprisoned government leaders but for being an advocate on the behalf of groups that have been neglected and exploited.

Clooney brought awareness in great detail to the human rights violations that more than 6,700 Yazidi women suffered while presenting at her first appearance at the United Nations. During that time, Clooney and her husband founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Clooney has also been a visiting professor, going to the Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute. Working as an international criminal lawyer, Clooney has worked in defense of government officials that have been removed from their power in a number of different locations and political positions.

She says that there is no such thing as an average day as a human rights lawyer. They could be placed anywhere on the planet on any given day and are constantly having to keep up with the news to learn where they might be needed to help. International human rights lawyers take phone calls from or meet with those who need their help, and a lot of their job involves plenty of writing and research. The job also entails immediate response to a crisis, like helping to get medical attention and food to those who are in a crisis area.

Because of her husband’s stardom, Amal Clooney has often been reduced to just “George Clooney’s wife,” but there is so much more to the woman than her marital status. She tackles the issues detailed above along with an abundance of other issues and is truly working to make the world a better place through the betterment of society and a passion for the instatement of human rights around the globe.

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