Attorney Profiles - Child:Doris Schumacher McMorrow

Doris Schumacher McMorrow


Doris Schumacher McMorrow begins every divorce case by thinking it through to a realistic conclusion. "I help my clients visualize an end result, seeing alternatives and the best ways to get there," she explains. "My primary focus is to try to settle outside of court. I believe, however, that my clients get a better outcome because I continue to prepare every case for trial. This way, we are ready to negotiate at just the right moment, and are well prepared at any point in the process."

McMorrow began her career as a corporate attorney. "Many of the principles of negotiating remain the same for divorce cases," she observes, "but the dynamic becomes much more intimate when a family's future is at stake."

She left corporate law when she had her first child. Though the law was her chosen profession, ballet was her passion and avocation. McMorrow began taking classes when she was five and studied ballet throughout her life, so it felt like a natural choice for her to start a ballet school. Ten years later, her school in Winnetka had expanded to 135 aspiring ballerinas.

She recognizes that her heightened ability to view the family in a broad context developed not only from her prior legal experience but also from her days managing a school for young dancers. Besides an acute ability to focus, dancing requires balance, strength, flexibility and controlled energy--an unusual perspective for an attorney, but a perfect blend of skill sets for McMorrow's work.

"I was impressed that so many of my students' parents were clearly centered on the well-being of their children," she recalls. "When there was a family problem that affected them — separation, divorce, illness or death — the parents naturally wanted me to know about the situation. Often they would ask me to be vigilant for any signs of stress affecting their children. And because they asked, I also found myself able to offer parents productive advice," she recalls. "I believe that's what being a family law attorney is about: paying attention and giving advice with the best interests of your people in mind."

When McMorrow returned to the profession in 1993, she chose to practice family law. She joined Davis Friedman in 1999. "Because of the experience of my own divorce, I have insight into how parents share time with children. I'm a very strong advocate, but also a realist. I consider very carefully what would be beneficial for the children and for my client and, hopefully, for the other spouse as well."

She adds, "I am known for being an extremely dedicated, responsible person. I encourage clients to look inward and forward, to shift their focus away from how much they might want to hurt or to take the most from the other person. By changing their focus, they can visualize what they really need and want so they can begin the next chapter in their lives."

Admitted to the Bar

1977, Illinois and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


Vassar College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1973, majored in English

Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 1977

Professional Memberships

Illinois State Bar Association

Accomplishments and Publications

Suffolk University Law Review

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