D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Theodore R. Newman Jr. named a former military judge yesterday as clerk of the court, the highest nonjudicial position on the city's highest court.

Alan I. Herman, 45, of Springfield served from 1975 to 1980 as a senior judge on the U.S. Air Force Court of Military Review. More recently he was a staff attorney at the National Center for State Courts, which advises state court systems throughout the country.

The clerk's post has been vacant for nearly a year. The clerk manages the court's two dozen employes, administers its caseload and has in the past acted as a legal adviser to lawyers filing cases at the court and to the judges.

Newman offered the post earlier this year to Robert W. Tobin, a former Justice Department lawyer who also worked with the National Center as its Washington director. Tobin, however, turned down the $50,000 post, saying the city's highest court was too bitterly divided for him to work there.

Alexander L. Stevas, the previous clerk, was appointed last fall as clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court. Hugh E. Kline, chief deputy clerk, filled the appeals court post temporarily during the search for a permanent replacement for Stevas.