"I want to work on cases that I feel the most passionate about," Amal Clooney said of her role as a top human rights lawyer

By Char Adams
Updated January 15, 2016 10:25 AM
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Amal Clooney isn’t letting her newfound fame hinder her work in the Maldives.

Clooney, 37, recently sat down with NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden in her first U.S. television interview, speaking about her passion for her human rights work.

“If you are a lawyer and you want to take on easier cases, you can prosecute traffic violations or something, you’d have a very high rate of success,” Clooney joked. “But that’s not what drives me. I want to work on cases that I feel the most passionate about.”

She added that, for her, giving up is “not an option.”

Clooney, a top human rights lawyer, is defending Maldives’ former president Mohamed Nasheed.

[IMAGE “1” “” “std” ]Nasheed was charged with terrorism and sentenced to 13-years in prison. His incarceration came after a much-debated trial, which Clooney described as a “sham” and a thinly veiled attempt to get Nasheed “out of the political scene and in prison.”

Clooney took her human rights battle to Washington earlier this week, meeting with lawmakers such as Senator John McCain on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

She and her co-counsel Jared Genser are currently lobbying Congress to level sanctions against the Maldives government unless they release Nasheed and other political prisoners.

Earlier in the interview, the British barrister spoke of using her newfound celebrity for a good cause.

“If there’s more attention paid – for whatever reason – to that, then I think that’s good,” she said, alluding to her actor husband, George Clooney.

“I think there is a certain responsibility that comes with that. And you know, I think I’m exercising it in an appropriate manner by continuing to do this kind of work.”

However, unlike her fame, her human rights efforts are nothing new, she said.

“I’m still doing the same job that I used to do before,” she explained.