Nationally recognized attorney, civil rights activist works to bring change
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A nationally recognized attorney and civil rights activist is working to bring change to Cincinnati.
Roula Allouch has been an attorney in Cincinnati for the past 17 years and now practices at the Bricker and Graydon Law Firm.
She strives to give her clients a voice to fight back when their civil rights have been violated or wrongfully terminated. Her No. 1 goal, she says, is to empower the community through her work.
As a national board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Allouch is often in the spotlight, including when she addressed the rise of violence against Muslims at the National Press Club briefing in 2015.
“We are particularly proud to join in the One America Campaign to encourage our communities further political engagement and building bridges between all Americans,” says Allouch.
Before joining the Bricker and Graydon Law Firm in 2019, Allouch says she always had the instinct to stand up for those treated unfairly.
“When I told my parents I wanted to go to law school, my mom kind of said, well, that makes sense,” recalls Allouch. “Because I apparently argued a lot as a child and kind of argued for what I thought was right and just. I think I’ve always had an inclination towards what felt right.”
Staying right on that path, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kentucky. She worked for different law firms in Cincinnati before joining Bricker Graydon.
“I’m a litigator,” Allouch explains. “I handle different types of litigation, employment, civil rights, personal injury and then other types of matters that come through.”
Recently, she has been helping with a case where a woman says her rights were violated by a police officer in Lexington.
“Her hijab was removed, and she knew that her right, even as a relatively recent immigrant, she knew that her right was to wear that hijab,” says Allouch. “And she knew that it was wrong what happened and she knew that she needed to reach out.”
Allouch connected the woman with The Council on American-Islamic Relations which launched an investigation.
“I went to law school for the purpose of leaving things better than I found them and trying to make a change and a difference,” says Allouch. “In different levels, you know, levels within my immediate local community and then trying to make an impact with a ripple effect.”
She has been able to bring some change by working with the American Bar Association helping to pass new cyberbullying and stalking policies last year.
“We learned that there haven’t been enough cyberbullying and stalking laws that will protect people,” explains Allouch. “We want to protect free speech and people’s right to express themselves, but there’s that area where it becomes harmful. And these types of laws will better protect people.”
Allouch says it’s also exciting working and speaking with young aspiring attorneys.
“There are many of us that didn’t grow up seeing ourselves as lawyers because that wasn’t what was projected to us as something that someone that looks like me can be,” says Allouch. “But then now, the more of us that show people that there’s an opportunity for them and there’s a way to do it and be successful at it and make an impact, that’s meaningful to be able to share that kind of experience.”
This story is part of a weekly segment called Breaking Through.
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