Roula Allouch had many role models growing up. One influencer she mentions by name is Muhammad Ali.
“He was a childhood hero because he was an internationally known figure, but he was also from my state and he shared my faith. I learned about how he was not only a champion in the ring, but he was also a champion for justice. Just knowing that a Black Muslim man from Kentucky had become so recognizable all over the world – that was a powerful example for me.”
Roula’s parents were born in Syria. They immigrated to the U.S. in the early ‘70s after her father finished medical school in Damascus. Although Roula was born in Wisconsin, she has never quite gotten used to winter, both as a concept and as a season. She is a child of the sun. “I try to make the most of the wintertime. But it takes a lot of hot yoga to get me through those cold months with little sunlight.”
Most of Roula’s childhood was spent in Berea, Kentucky. There, her father was a surgeon at Saint Joseph Berea Hospital and Patti A. Clay Hospital and her mother managed his office. Roula is the third of six children. She thinks a lot about the sacrifices her parents made over the years. “The older I’ve gotten the more appreciation I have for the risks my parents took in their own lives to create better opportunities for their family. I admire their resilience and feel a sense of responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities they allowed for us.”
Berea was a wonderful place to grow up, she says. “I loved being outside, playing kickball. In the summertime, we stayed outdoors until our parents called us in for dinner.”
Roula has also always loved reading. “My mom would say, ‘You want more books already? We were just at the library.’ But she would always take me to get more.”
Roula also was drawn to music from the time she was small. “All kinds,” she says. “Jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Arabic music. If I need to smile, Stevie Wonder is my go to. I always wanted to learn to play the piano – it’s something I hope to get to one day.”
All six of the Allouch offspring graduated from the University of Kentucky. Does Roula consider herself a Wildcat? “Absolutely. I bleed blue. March Madness is one of my favorite times of year.”
Roula is generous with her smile. She loves to travel and has been to Syria, Turkey, Morocco, and many cities throughout Europe. A major chunk of her free time is spent volunteering. She is involved with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, a program that promotes greater independence, accountability, and transparency in judicial systems around the world, and is national chair of the nation’s largest civil rights and advocacy groups for American Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR for short.
“CAIR is a vital organization for American Muslims. We advocate for our community even in the most difficult of spaces. I am proud to serve through an organization that empowers our community to defend and protect the rights of anyone facing injustice in our country.
“I went to law school to be an advocate for civil rights, access to justice and the rule of law.”
Roula joins Graydon’s litigation group. She wants her clients to know she’s here to ease their burden and advocate for them.
“I want my clients to know I hear the challenges they are facing and provide each of them with a sense of relief that I’m here, I’ve heard you and I’ve got your back.”
Roula Allouch is a trial attorney with experience handling a range of litigation matters including in the areas of employment, civil rights, personal injury, and appeals. Ms. Allouch earned her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Kentucky in 2003 and her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2006. She is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Kentucky and Ohio and before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Allouch is an active member of the legal community and the community at large. She currently serves as Chair of the National Board of Directors of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest civil rights and advocacy group for the American Muslim community. She is Chair of the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights and serves on the leadership council for the Association’s Section for Civil Rights and Social Justice. Ms. Allouch has been recognized as a Daughter of Greatness by the Muhammad Ali Center and serves on the Center’s Board of Directors. Ms. Allouch is also a faculty member with the Islamic Seminary of America. She has a passion for the arts and recently joined the Leadership Committee for the Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival