“Amal Clooney doesn’t like talking about herself. Sit with the 44-year-old lawyer, and she’ll take you on a tour of some of the worst places in the world, where despots reign and standing up for your rights can get you killed. Yet, inevitably, she finds women in these places who want to challenge power, and she supercharges them with her own power: the law.
I know that because I’m one of them. Just for doing my job as a journalist, the authorities in the Philippines filed 10 arrest warrants against me in less than two years. Amal has helped defend me since 2019, and I’m a rarity for her because she can actually talk to me. In the past, her journalist clients were in prison, and she worked to free them by combining law with an incisive understanding of politics, pragmatism, and public advocacy.
What I’ve learned as one of her clients is that her empathy is as strong as her knowledge of the law and her courage. She’s also a hard worker, poring over thousands of pages of documents, highlighting, and taking meticulous notes. As she has often told me, you can’t do strategy if you don’t have the details. She knows my cases inside out, and many more too. When we spoke, she reeled off countless ones from memory: in Malawi, Darfur, Egypt, Myanmar, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, and more. She makes sure that women who are victims of mass atrocities, including genocide and sexual violence, are not forgotten, that they get justice, that their lives and communities are better as a result.
It’s sometimes hard to see all of Amal because of the glamour and celebrity that can overshadow her work. She embraces that and shines light on some of the darkest parts of the world to help her clients. She also quickly reminds you that she’s not just the wife of George but also the mother of adorable twins, Alexander and Ella. That has changed her. She told me, “With everything going on today, I want to have a good answer when they ask me what I was doing.” I’m glad she’s in my corner.” – Maria Ressa
Read more about Amal Clooney: https://time.com/collection/women-of-the-year/6150539/amal-clooney/
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