Sylvia Bokyung St. Clair



Sylvia Bokyung St. Clair’s passion for employee relations and human resources stems from her work in two family-run businesses and a decade-long career in hospitality management, where she and her staff were widely recognized for outstanding service and high-achieving standards and policies. Today, guided by years of experience on the front lines, she devotes her legal career to counseling and defending employers on a national basis in a broad range of employment matters arising under both state and federal laws.

Employment Counseling, Audits and Investigations

Sylvia advises companies in connection with the development and implementation of employment practices and internal regulatory and immigration compliance.

She has extensive experience in defending and advising employers with state and federal audits and workforce enforcement actions involving hiring practices, I-9 and E-Verify compliance, immigration-related document fraud, child-labor law compliance, employment-related policies and practices, and wage and hour pay practices.

Sylvia defends investigations brought by the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division arising from the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, including citizenship status and national origin discrimination, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation or intimidation.

Employment Litigation

Sylvia has deep experience representing companies in complex employment and commercial litigation matters. Her litigation experience includes:

  • Discrimination and reverse discrimination
  • Harassment / hostile work environment
  • Whistleblower / retaliation
  • Job-protected leave
  • Wrongful discharge
  • State and federal wage and hour claims
  • Trade-secret misappropriation and violations of noncompetition and nonsolicitation provisions
  • Breach of contract claims

She defends actions involving systemic investigations, preferential treatment, and disparate impact claims involving citizenship status and national origin, and regularly defends companies before the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO).


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 Central District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit




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
  • SB 1162: CA Pay Data Reporting For Workers
    Republished in Workforce Management, Time & Attendance, Excellence, March 23, 2023
  • EEOC, DOJ: Using AI Technology in Employment-Related Decisions May Violate ADA 
    Republished in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law, November–December 2022
    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

Firm Blog Contributions

  • LaborSphere – a resource providing coverage and insights on breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of labor issues

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, 2013-19


  • Best Lawyers® — "Ones to Watch," Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2023-24
  • Super Lawyers — "Rising Star," Los Angeles, 2019-23
  • Illinois Super Lawyers — Rising Star, 2019-22
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) — Pathfinder, 2018
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020-22
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2016-19
  • Leading Lawyers —  Emerging Lawyer, 2017-20
  • The Chicago Committee, Rate My Pitch — Outstanding Individual Pitch, 2016
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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