Roger writing the LAWmag

Corri Fetman, Love Lawyer

Corri Fetman is a 40-something Chicago family law attorney.

Just not your average 40-something Chicago family law attorney.

The graduate from DePaul College of Law may be the only woman of the coif you can call beautiful and voluptuous without either of her or your law society raising conduct unbecoming issues.

For another, she does killer billboard copy.

The Billboard

Back in May of 2007, she sponsored a billboard set up in the nightclub district of Chicago with the controversial slogan:

Life's short. Get a divorce.

Corri FetmanIn later reincarnations it became:

Take Control. Get a divorce

But the ad included a picture of a buxom, scantily clad woman's body on one side, intended to rapidly dilate the male pupil, later revealed to be Fetman herself.

Some took the ad as an incitement to commit adultery. Indeed, it offered a form of judicial relief as if it were a simple product.

The ad highlighted the phone number of the Chicago law firm of Fetman, Garland & Associates (formerly Chicago Women at Law).

There was a firestorm of public outcry.

City of Chicago authorities yanked the billboard down but not in time to prevent a deluge of publicity for Fetman's law firm - CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, FOX. etc. - and not all of it positive. "Satanic home-wreckers" read one of the milder messages she received.

Another local family law lawyer (Jeffrey Leving) added:

"It’s a cheap stunt that encourages recreational sex, sport sex. Lawyers have a lot of power to decide whether a marriage ends in divorce or not. People who are thinking about getting a divorce are very vulnerable."

Fetman was unrepentant. A month later, she found a local transportation company to put the ads on their trucks.

Ms Fetman says that she only wanted to shout out the message that no one ought to be trapped in a miserable marriage; simply, her message was laudable, that you shouldn't stay in an unhappy marriage.

And, it didn't hurt if Fetman & Garland came to be seen as a hip, "ballsy, nonjudgmental" divorce firm. Indeed, her law firm used the billboard images on their Christmas cards and the attorney sells Life Is Short: Get A Divorce t-shirts on her corrifetman.com website.

Playboy

Her cleavage did not escape the notice of another of Chicago's distinguished corporate citizens.

In February 2008, the local and national bar ran for Playboy Magazine as the issue featured "attorney Corri Fetman ... taking it all off". While we wait for permission from Mr. Hefner to run a picture of Ms Fetman au naturel, the Love Lawyer's lawyer love pictures are at www.playboy.com/corri.

Playboy's infatuation didn't end with the camera lens. The men's magazine also gave her a column:

"Lawyer of Love - a local lawyer with some exposure."

Suddenly, in July of 2008, the column was canceled by Playboy.

In March 2009, the circumstances of her Playboy adventure were bared in a lawsuit she filed in Cook County Circuit Court in which she claimed that she had been sexual harassed by Playboy executive Thomas Hagopian and that it is because she rejected his advances that her column was cancelled.

On August 13, 2009, she filed a trademark registration application with the US Trademarks Office (serial #77803714) for the words "Lawyer of Love" but faced with objections from Playboy, she abandoned it on December 1, 2009.

Then, with the confidence a law degree and a few years of litigation will give you, she started her own advice column as a blog at Chicago Now, a Web site affiliated with the Chicago Tribune, and called Love Lawyer.

The PG-rated litigation is pending before the Chicago courts.

Barracuda Barbie

In her blog entries, Fetman shines. True, there is a surprising theme of criticizing the adultery of public figures but there are nuggets too, that show a real appreciation of family law.

Her outspoken criticism of collaborative family law is like a breath of fresh air, albeit in reference to the challenges of a mediation model upon a litigious culture of American attorneys.

She's game for a fight with any old boy's club. In another article in regards to a United States Supreme Court decision she quips:

"This ruling should be surprising given the ages of the justices on the Supreme Court.... Maybe if the justices had to worry about being dumped by a younger replacement, they would take their dentures out of the cup and do the right thing."

Further, part-attorney, part-counsellor, she advises for readers to avoid what she calls the number one reason for marriage breakdown: lack of employment by one of the spouses even after the children are in school.

In her Playboy profile, she adds, presumably with a sly smile and a wink:

"People see the big breasts and the blond hair, and they underestimate me. One of my clients calls me the Barracuda Barbie."

But in one blog blurb, she advises "Joe" from South Bend, Indiana, that the first job in getting divorced is to conflict-out the competition by taking a free consult with the spouse's best choice of attorney; advice that should rise the eyebrow of any serious family law lawyer.

An employee of her licensing body, the Illinois Supreme Court, called her out on the Playboy pictures saying that it makes a mockery of "the women who struggled to gain respect in a male dominated profession." Charlotte Ray comes to mind.

The fact is, she thinks outside the box, never a welcome thing in the conservative decor of any law society or bar association. The fact is, Corri Fetman says that she is proud of posing in Playboy, as did, she points out Marilyn Monroe, Pamela Anderson and Bo Derek.

In one interview, she stated:

"I am still the same hard-driving lawyer - only now you can see more of me."

When asked about supporting a publication - Playboy - in the objectification of the female body, she argues that:

"... the photos are tasteful and no different than going through a museum and viewing naked paintings. The naked body is a beautiful thing. Besides, I still have the same brain I had before I took my clothes off. I'm the same lawyer."

Ms Fetman is not the first attorney to shake what her momma gave her in public.

  • Los Angeles sports attorney Kristine Lefebvre, appeared nude in Playboy in 2007. She is a J.D. graduate of Florida Nova Southeastern Law School; and
  • Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, a graduate of the Boston College Law School, posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine in June, 1982, while a law student.

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