The Real Amal Clooney: Funny, Warm and 'Supremely Self-Confident'

The Real Amal Clooney: Funny, Warm and 'Supremely Self-Confident'
Amal Clooney arrives in Athens, Greece
Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty

10/16/2014 AT 02:20 PM EDT

Amal Clooney is many things: a high-powered attorney, a budding fashion icon and George's wife.

But beyond the formidable intellect, impressive career and killer style, she is known among her inner circle for her warmth and wit.

"She has a devastating sense of humor," a close family member tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

The younger daughter of Ramzi Alamuddin, a retired businessman, and Baria, an editor at Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, she is also a loving aunt to her sister Tala's children, including niece Mia, 12, and 6-year-old twin nephews Jad and Sari.



"She's a doting, pampering aunt," says the family member. "She has a loving heart."

When it comes to her career, however, she is anything but soft.

"She's supremely self-confident," says William Schabas, a law professor at Middlesex University in London, who knows Amal professionally.

While she incites media mania in Greece, where she has been working on a case involving one of the world's longest-standing cultural property disputes, those who know her say she will harness the spotlight to focus on issues that matter to her.

The case, which centers on a collection of Greek masterpieces known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, "is very difficult and shows that she is not shying away from controversy," a legal source says.

Adds a colleague: "She is picking up where the honeymoon temporarily left off. She is back with a vengeance."

Reporting by PHILIP BOUCHER and PETER MIKELBANK

For much more on Amal, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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