A Sweet Talent
Andrea Sugar is writing her way through the pandemic
Published in 2021 Maryland Super Lawyers magazine
on December 14, 2020
Updated on December 17, 2020
Writing since the third grade, when her mother bought her a typewriter with her S&H Green Stamps, Towson attorney Andrea Sugar has nurtured a side biz called “Verse-A-Tility: Roasts. Toasts. Boasts.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t make much money,” Sugar says with a laugh. She made a few bucks through law school, writing personalized poems or roasts for her professors and fellow students—10 years her junior, because Sugar worked first in social work, then spent 14 years working in the Baltimore City jail system and another two years with the National Institute of Correction. Now, mostly, she writes pro bono for other lawyers, family or special events.
Sugar, whose practice consists mainly of family law, criminal defense, plaintiffs’ personal injury and miscellaneous civil litigation matters, also has a novel in progress—Deadline Justice, inspired by a federal criminal case in which her firm represented the defendant.
“I’ve got a movie outline in the works, too,” she says.
She adds parody songwriting to her repertoire, particularly verse that gets a little political.
Writing has helped her stay focused during the pandemic. She’s journaled and scribbled poetic notes about all the strange things she says have happened to her—and the world—over the past six months.
“Reaching into my creative writing just makes me feel better,” she says. “I’m also happy to say that, for as many notes about bizarre things happening to me this year, I have lyrics and poems stemming from random acts of kindness.”
She’s even inspiring the next gen: granddaughter Sophia, 10, lives in L.A. and has begun playing piano and putting verse to the tunes. But she takes it a step further by composing her own original music. “I had business cards printed up with both our names, with me anchoring Verse-A-Tility from the East Coast and her managing the West Coast branch,” Sugar says.