Andrew J. Sherman ’86 –Leveraging Knowledge to Unlock Value and Potential

Over the years, American University Washington College of Law alumnus Andrew J. Sherman '86 has served as a legal and strategic advisor to dozens of Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of emerging growth companies through his work as a partner at Jones Day.

He has represented and counseled U.S. and international clients in all stages of growth—from rapidly growing start-ups to multibillion dollar international conglomerates.

He has even been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the top ten minds in small business.

Mr. Sherman is also an author and professor.

Whether he's practicing law, speaking to students, or writing his latest book, Sherman sees himself as an educator. He frequently returns to American University Washington College of Law, and has been a regular lecturer over the past ten years.

“I’m happiest when I’m educating,” he said. “And I can educate in a boardroom, in a classroom, behind a podium, or though my writing. I’m happiest when I’m teaching others some skill set and strategy.”

“I was inspired by the classroom experience.”

Sherman credits his own American University Washington College of Law professors—some of whom still teach at the law school—with inspiring him to be a good educator.

“I was inspired by the classroom experience. I looked up at the podium and saw that my professors really cared--how much I learned, and how well I learned it,” said Sherman. “I’ve never stopped wanting to emulate the great teaching they provided to me in the classroom. The passion and commitment of professors can make or break the law school experience.”

Just last month, Sherman released his 19th book, Harvesting Intangible Assets: Uncover Hidden Revenue in Your Company's Intellectual Property. According to Sherman, this most recent work could potentially have the greatest impact on helping to move the economic recovery needle in the right direction.

“It’s a business book written for a broad audience,” he explained. “It is aimed at really helping to jumpstart our economy by focusing on the phenomenal strategy of recognizing that every organization is sitting on large quantities of tangible assets that regularly go underutilized.”

Using his own experience as well as real examples, Sherman reveals how companies of all sizes can effectively manage their intellectual property (or “harvest their intangible assets”) to remain both competitive and innovative.

“We’re now in an economy where 70 to 80 percent of companies have no inventory, little physical assets, and are exclusively driven by intangible assets. Yet, they don’t take inventory of their intangibles. These aren’t companies whose primary value is driven by desk or chairs—they’re companies whose value is driven by brands and know-how. My book challenges corporate leadership to devote more time, energy, and attention to management to these assets.”

Not just a book, but a mission.

According to Sherman, the current state of the economy is not one where companies can afford to be waste intangible assets if they want to thrive. So, he says he has become a “champion of wasting less and doing more” with these assets.

“This has become not just a book but a mission,” he explained. “You can have all the intangible assets you want, but you’d better use what you create to make shareholder value.”

“Sherman takes a positive approach,” said Professor Andrew Popper in a review of Sherman’s book. “He focuses on utilization of resources, maximizing benefits while protecting interests, creative approaches, and novel strategies for those who appreciate the value of Information Technology and Intellectual Property - or those who are about to realize they possess an untapped resource.”


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