Impact Stories

Impact Stories features works and accomplishments of the American University Washington College of Law community of faculty, students, and alumni.

Meet Herbert Rouson, Jr.’02: Chief Deputy Clerk of D.C.’s Highest Court

Herbert Rouson Jr

Herbert Rouson, Jr. ’02 is chief deputy clerk of the D.C. Court of Appeals, where he supports the vision and directives of both the clerk of the court, and chief judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby. He is primarily responsible for developing and implementing enterprise-level process improvements that increase customer service metrics as they relate to providing access to justice, while maintaining a high-level of employee engagement. Rouson is also in charge of cultivating collaborative relationships with decision-makers, executive leaders, and court partners.

Additionally, for the past three years, he has served as the chair of the D.C. Courts’ Management Training Committee, which provides robust training opportunities for court managers, works collaboratively with the Judicial Education Committee, and oversees the development of future leaders through the court’s formal Management Training Program.  And here at American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL), he serves on the Public Interest Alumni Advisory Board.

As a law student, Rouson did not have any preconceived notions about a particular career in law, but he believes that participating in various experiential opportunities and student activities at AUWCL helped shape and define his perspectives on the law.  In particular, his fellowship with Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project made him more keenly aware of the importance of having an active and engaged citizenry.

Rouson’s advice to law students: “stay open. Having ‘a plan’ or ‘end game’ certainly has its place,” he says. “However, sometimes the best plans are the ones that find those who are open to receive them.”

Additionally, Rouson strongly encourages students to take advantage of office hours with their professors, and make time to engage their classmates about topics discussed in class in order to gain a broader perspective of how others view the law.

“[S]ometimes the best plans are the ones that find those who are open to receive them.”

Herbert Rouson, Jr.