About Andrew Engelson

Andrew Engelson Articles written 25

Andrew Engelson is an award-winning freelance journalist and editor with more than 20 years of experience. His writing has appeared in Investigate West, The Seattle Times, the Urbanist, South Seattle Emerald, The Stranger, Crosscut, Real Change, Tin House, University of Washington Magazine, High Country News, Seattle Weekly, Washington Trails, and many other publications. He’s the winner of several first place awards from the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was the founding editor of Cascadia Magazine.

Articles written by Andrew Engelson

Where He’s Calling From

Jim McDermott’s first novel is set in a blue-collar town like the one he left behind

In the summer of 1990, James T. McDermott asked for a leave of absence from his Washington, D.C., business litigation practice so he could write a coming-of-age novel. “The first draft was 104,000 words,” says McDermott, now a partner at Ball Janik in Portland. “It was basically a jumble that resembled the used car lots I used to poke around in as a teenager, searching for old parts.”  After years of persistent editing and rewriting, McDermott managed to trim the novel to a lean 64,000 …

Spirits of the Law

Why Kim Willoughby is the unofficial state bar mixologist

Family law and estate planning attorney Kim Willoughby is a popular participant at meetings of the Colorado Bar Association, and not just because of her legal insights. She also mixes the cocktails. “I’ll do my presentation, and then go sling drinks,” Willoughby says. “I make cocktails that involve vodka and a lot of fresh fruit and fresh herbs, or even fresh vegetables. I’ll go pour them for the bar association folks and they love it.” The vodka she uses in those drinks comes from …


Nicole Heffel helps female vets in trouble

Two years ago, when Air Force veteran Michelle Redd was released from jail after serving time for credit card fraud, she was, in her own words, “a hot mess.” She was addicted to meth, suffered from nerve damage as a result of childhood abuse, and had few options other than crime. Then she met La Jolla attorney Nicole Heffel, who had recently started a program at the San Diego County Jail to assist female veterans. Their first meeting was brief. Two months later, Redd was back in jail and …

Rescue Me

Bill Slaughter of Ojai finds people lost in the woods

On a rainy day in February four years ago, attorney Bill Slaughter was visiting San Francisco when he received a phone call. Eight hikers were lost in the Topatopa Mountains north of Ojai. As a volunteer captain with Upper Ojai Search and Rescue Team, Slaughter rushed home to coordinate the search. By the time he got there, the number of lost hikers had grown to 30.  “These groups had all gone up without bothering to check the weather,” Slaughter recalls. “There was torrential rainfall …

American Flyer

It’s a rare day when Jim Brown isn’t on a bicycle

If it’s dry and over 20 degrees, you’ll find Denver attorney Jim Brown biking to work.   “I tried it once at 20-below,” says Brown, who has been practicing law for 32 years. “I looked like the Michelin man, all bundled up. And then I got a flat tire. That was just too dang cold.”   Brown is more than an avid cyclist. He races, commutes between 20 and 50 miles a day and participates in a 40-mile training ride each Sunday. If he needs to be across town for a real estate …

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