Sylvia Bokyung St Clair



Sylvia Bokyung St. Clair devotes her legal career to representing and counseling employers in all facets of employment law. She regularly defends companies in employment litigation, including representing employers throughout the country in complex employment cases arising from federal and state specific laws.

Sylvia’s passion for employee relations and human resources comes from working in two family-run businesses (a restaurant and a dry cleaner) and her decade-long career in hospitality management (hotels, restaurants and a race track) where she developed standard operating procedures and guest services’ excellence standards. She and her hotel staff were widely recognized for outstanding guest services scores and guests’ loyalty. Sylvia oversaw new hotel openings, brand transitions and seasonal hotel closings.

Sylvia is regularly featured in Hotel News Now, an online resource for hotel operators and managers, and she co-publishes employer alerts on Illinois law updates including the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Employment Litigation

Sylvia has experience defending employers under:

  • Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Title VII and Section 1981
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
  • New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL)
  • Other state and federal anti-discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower, and anti-retaliation laws
  • Complex, class actions and systematic litigation
  • Restrictive covenants, non-competes and non-solicitation provisions in employment agreements

Sylvia has represented employers in jurisdictions throughout the country, as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), and other state and local agencies.

Employment Counseling

Sylvia counsels employers regarding employment practices, including issues related to hiring practices, background checks, classification issues, workplace privacy and non-discrimination. Sylvia also prepares and reviews employment agreement policies, including employment contracts, separation agreements, employee handbooks, and non-competition and confidentiality agreements.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California




Chicago-Kent College of Law
J.D. cum laude, Chicago-Kent Law Review (executive articles editor) (2013)

DePaul University
B.A. in Legal Studies (2010)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Illinois Updates Privacy Law to Address Social Media
    Co-author, SHRM, November 2016
  • Wage & Hour Issues — Compliance in 2016 and Beyond
    Labor & Employment and Benefits Seminar, Chicago, June 2016
  • Legal Issues When Using Social Media to Grow Your Business
    Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Chicago, March 2016
  • Lessons Learned in Human Resources From Pop Culture’s 2015 Memorable Moments
    Hospitality Law Conference, Houston, February 2016
  • Don’t Get Caught Spoiling: What Every Litigant Needs to Know If You Think You Might Be Sued
    Contributor, The Logistics Journal, Transportation Intermediaries Association, January 2013

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Settlement Assistance Program — Successfully negotiated settlements involving discrimination on the basis of genetic information and § 1983 claims
  • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Illinois Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Children — Successfully obtained a new resentencing hearing for an individual serving a mandatory life-without parole sentence pursuant to the Illinois Supreme Court’s holding in People v. Addolfo Davis that the prohibition of mandatory life sentences for homicide offenses committed by juveniles would apply retroactively
  • National Immigrant Justice Center, Deferred Action Clinics — Assisted an immigrant youth who arrived to the United States during her childhood in completing and filing an application for deferral and work permit

Professional Associations

  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) — Member, 2018-present
  • Women’s Bar Foundation — Board of Directors, 2015-19
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois — Member, 2013-present


  • Illinois Super Lawyers – Rising Star, 2019
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) — Pathfinder, 2018
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2016-18
  • Leading Lawyers —  Emerging Lawyer, 2017-19
  • The Chicago Committee, Rate My Pitch — Outstanding Individual Pitch, 2016
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