If you don’t know Corri Fetman by name, you might know her by sight. Tall, blonde, and a lot up top, she is most widely known as the lawyer who posed for Playboy in February 2008. But Fetman’s road to infamy began in May 2007, when controversy exploded over a series billboards she posted around Chicago, which advertised her family law firm with a picture of her in sexy lingerie next to the tagline, “Life’s Short. Get a Divorce.”
She was again making headlines last year. This time in a legal dustup over a regular column called “The Lawyer of Love” that she used to pen for Playboy.com following her pictorial debut. Lawsuits were filed by both parties and can be read about here and here.
More than anything, this DePaul College of Law grad (and member of Law Review) is known for bringing a little sex appeal to the legal profession. Thank God! She knows how to use provocativeness to bring in business, and her outspoken style gets lawyers in Chicago and around the Web talking about topics like infidelity and S&M—from a legal perspective, of course.
We recently caught up with Fetman to chat about her Playboy experience, her law practice, how those ads originated, her “Love Lawyer” blog and her latest endeavor—body building.]
Do you still practice law?
Yes, I work 6-7 days per week. I am the President of Corri Fetman & Associates, Ltd. I wear a lot of different hats. Besides being the managing partner of the firm and a practicing lawyer, I am also responsible for marketing, and I perform rather mundane administrative tasks on a regular basis. Needless to say, I am rather busy.
What’s a typical day like for you?
There is no such thing as a “typical day” for me. The divorce profession is constantly filled with emergencies and changes of strategy, so my days are never as I plan them. But if I had to say “typical,” it would be as follows:
5:30 AM: Cardio or Weight Training
7:30 AM: Office
9:30 AM-12:00 PM: Court
The remainder of the day is drafting pleadings, agreements and letters, having conference calls with clients, sitting in meetings, assisting associate lawyers and preparing for trial.
You first gained notoriety with your racy billboards (below) in Chicago that featured the tagline “Life’s short. Get a divorce.” What was the inspiration behind those ads? How much did those ads boost your business?
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Business was very slow at the beginning of 2007. I became concerned and decided it was time to advertise more effectively. I constantly think about advertising, and I decided that I wanted to do something bold, creative and different. I believe law firm advertising is boring and virtually all the same—a bunch of lawyers sitting in the library in suits. My firm has a reputation for being aggressive, creative, ballsy, non-judgmental and knowledgeable. I wanted the ad campaign to feature these traits.
One of my favorite sayings is “Life’s Short.” The purpose of the ad campaign was to deliver a positive message. Namely, a person should be able to take stock of their life, have personal integrity and not be judged for not wanting to stay in an unhappy marriage. The ad campaign was also about making personal choices, which would lead to happiness. It is about living your best life since life is so very short. The ad was meant to take the stigma away from divorce. Instead of looking as divorce as a negative factor, why not view it as a positive new chapter with the glass being full?
Of course, the ad was not meant to trivialize divorce. Rather the ad was meant to be thought provoking and demonstrate that taking control of your life and living your best life can be a positive choice.
I also wanted the ad to show my sense of humor, which is also appreciated by our clients when going through such a tough time. That is how the photo/fantasy idea was derived. I searched through stock photos, but they were not hot enough. So, I called upon my personal trainer, Chuck Sanow, to do a photo shoot for the male. I then posed for the female photos.
Your most recent billboards are just as provocative, but they feature more of an S&M and leather look with the tagline “Take control. Get a Divorce.” What was the inspiration there?
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The third ad campaign—“Take Control. Get a Divorce.”—features a bondage theme, with a dominatrix (me) and a master (Chuck) in the photos. It was launched in January of 2008. The ad was meant to portray another positive tagline, but with a double entendre composition—the dominatrix and master theme.
Speaking of S&M, an escort we once interviewed [HERE] told us that interest in S&M is quite common among lawyers? Do you think that’s true? If so, why?
I think taboo sex is more prevalent than most people want to recognize or speak about in general. Perhaps S&M is common among lawyers because lawyers are such control and power freaks. It is just one more venue besides the courtroom for lawyers to exercise domination or submission.
A while back, we ran a piece on whether breast implants would help a female lawyer’s career. [“The Real Story on Fake Boobs”] We probably should’ve called you for a quote. But maybe it’s not too late. Do you think implants are a good career move?
Absolutely. I believe cosmetic surgery is a personal choice. Anything that makes people feel better about themselves or enhances self confidence is a great career and personal move. The better you feel about yourself, the better you will perform in your profession.
You’re clearly not afraid to use your sex appeal to your advantage. What do you think of criticisms that doing so isn’t consistent with the legal profession?
I question why this is an issue. Anyone who has a problem with sex appeal has insecurities and other latent self-esteem issues that are affecting their judgment. A secure person who is happy would not be affected by the use of sex appeal and would welcome another approach to the boring stereotypes of the legal practice. That is the very reason Baskin Robbins made many different flavors of ice cream—it is called variety.
So, you’re a body builder. How did that come about? What do you think your best feature is when it comes to bodybuilding? What needs the most work?
I would hardly call myself a bodybuilder. I have always loved weight training and fitness. I started training with IFBB Pro Chuck Sanow in 2006, and he is truly an inspiration to the profession, the most incredible trainer and a wonderful human. He trained me for my Playboy and billboard photo shoots and totally transformed my body.
I am constantly pushing myself and desire to be better and more physically fit. So, the next logical step was competition. In May 2009, I competed in my first figure bodybuilding competition. I am contemplating another competition this year. I LOVE the training, diet and discipline of preparing for the competition.
My shoulders are my best feature. I am never satisfied with my butt and legs, and it drives Chuck crazy!
Before posing for Playboy in 2008, had you ever posed nude? Any plans to do it again (not necessarily with Playboy)?
I never posed naked prior to the Playboy photo shoot. I never thought about it until the opportunity arose. I was extremely flattered. To be considered in the company of such beautiful women as Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford and Pamela Anderson was the ultimate compliment.
I do not have any plans to pose naked again, but I would consider it if it was tasteful or for a good cause—such as PETA.
After you appeared in Playboy, what was the reaction of the lawyers and judges you know? Did any of them ask you to autograph a copy of the magazine?
The reaction to the Playboy spread was similar to the ad campaign. It gave the lawyers and judges who disliked me one more thing to complain and talk about. However, the majority of lawyers and judges who valued and liked me before the Playboy photos actually applauded my courage and respected me even more.
Yes, some of the judges and lawyers did ask me to autograph copies of my photos and magazines. I was very surprised at the number of lawyers and judges who regularly read my Playboy “Lawyer of Love” advice column. I received a lot of compliments and feedback about the column—even more than the photos, which was very rewarding.
You now write a regular column for ChicagoNow.com. Do you enjoy doing it? What do you like best about being a columnist?
The column is a place where I can be creative, so I enjoy writing it very much. I like to think outside of the box, and the column provides another forum for doing so. I am extremely unpredictable and like to write about controversial topics, so stay tuned and keep reading.