Andrea L. Sherrell
‘Going Home, Who Am I?’
Paralegal Alumna Pursues Master’s, Publishes First Book.
Highline College was where Andrea L. Sherrell’s academic career began.
Now, the Auburn resident is working on her master’s in public administration at The Evergreen State College and recently published her first book, “Going Home, Who Am I?”
While Sherrell’s goal is for her book to become an international bestseller, featured in major news publications and magazines worldwide, she may have never written her book had she not faced certain struggles along the way.
With dreams of becoming a lawyer, Sherrell enrolled at Highline College in 2015, graduating two years later with her Paralegal Associate of Applied Science degree.
“My paralegal degree was an asset,” Sherrell said. “It demonstrated that I attended formal education, which demonstrates the ability of tenacity, creativity and my valid interest of the law. I [also] developed an interest in the field of homelessness, its detriment to the community and its causes.”
During her time at Highline, Sherrell interned at the Housing Justice Project, which provides free legal assistance to renters facing eviction in King County, and the Unemployment Law Project, which provides free legal advice and counsel for unemployment hearings in Washington state. Sherrell would later go on to work for the Compass Housing Alliance as a counselor at Otto’s Place, a men’s homeless shelter in Seattle, and as a direct care shelter staff member at The Loft Youth Shelter in Tacoma with The Coffee Oasis.
As she pursued her paralegal degree at Highline, Sherrell said she learned about the civil side of law and that the instructors were especially influential –– Highline’s Legal Studies faculty are experienced attorneys and paralegals with substantial law firm experience. But Sherrell’s favorite memories of Highline include attending basketball games and learning from mock court proceedings instructors held in some of her classes.
Although she enjoyed working with children experiencing homelessness, Sherrell’s aspirations of becoming a lawyer followed her. But she took the Law School Admission Test or LSAT, a rigorous standardized test for prospective law school candidates, and wasn’t successful.
“I applied for the second time to the LSAT for law school, which I did not pass,” Sherrell said. “And I moved on and began writing my book.”
Sherrell got to work, writing long into the night during her graveyard shifts at the homeless shelter.
In 2019, Sherrell earned her bachelor’s degree in law and public policy from The Evergreen State College and was well on her way to her first publication, which she eventually published through Dorrance Publishing Co. in the winter of 2023.
According to the book’s description, “Going Home, Who Am I?” is a fictional story about a “moderately successful African American female paralegal with no higher education degree” who is at a crossroads in her life. The main character “returns to her Southern roots in North Carolina, and discovers the history of her ancestors and the sacrifices they made for their families and futures.”
“At this time in my educational/career journey, I would like my book to be on the Los Angeles Best Seller List, read in Europe, and The New York Times Bestseller list, and my book to be mentioned in the ‘Seattle Magazine,’ and ‘Essence’ magazine as a must read for the literary audience,” Sherrell shared, adding she is a member of Tabor 100 and the Pierce County Black Collective.
In reflecting on what it’s taken to get to where she is today, Sherrell shares the following advice to other Highline College students just starting out: “Participate in class, be timely, study your homework, listen, become employed while there and engage with your professors.”