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J. Bryan Wood

  1. Bryan Wood joined Kaplan Law Firm in March 2024 to launch its Chicago office, bringing nearly 25 years of experience practicing employment law.

Bryan’s experience includes representing small businesses, Fortune 500 companies and officers, executives, and employees of all types. He has represented predominantly employees for the majority of his career, helping them successfully transition jobs and recover for their losses without ever filing legal claims. But he’s not afraid of a good fight – and has also helped employees win multi-million-dollar settlements, verdicts, and awards after litigating vigorously on their behalf.

His experience, legal ability and work ethic have earned him a Martindale-Hubbel AV Preeminent® rating and a place on lists of notable attorneys, including “Super Lawyers,” the nation’s Premier Employment Lawyers and America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®.

Bryan is committed to making sure employers treat employees legally and fairly. To that end, he counsels and litigates for employees ranging from blue-collar workers to the C-Suite regarding all aspects of the employment relationship. He also helps businesses and not-for-profits navigate their ever-growing compliance obligations through counseling, handbook reviews, and investigations, offering insight from the perspective of the attorney who may sue them for violations.

Bryan’s employment law roots run deep. He quit his first grocery store job after being paid a sub-minimum wage but being required to (illegally) operate a meat grinder as a minor. He drafted the employee handbook at his college grocery store job – working his way up from stocker to shift supervisor.

After law school, good lawyers at Seyfarth Shaw convinced Bryan he could help protect employees’ civil rights best as the employer’s lawyer. Eager to change things faster, Bryan left Seyfarth Shaw for Stowell & Friedman, Ltd. – an employment discrimination class action firm – and quickly found himself face-to-face with General Counsel at major corporations discussing systemic changes beneficial to employees and those companies’ bottom lines. He saw how quickly executives’ careers could be ruined because they opposed illegal activities – and learned how to counsel executives to protect their careers without ignoring the workplace wrongs they observed.

Hoping for new experiences, Bryan decided to start his own firm and develop a practice where he could have his cake and eat it, too – advising companies on how to uphold the law and avoid risk through smart business decisions while helping employees protect their careers and being free from discrimination and retaliation. He’s excited to bring that practice and perspective to The Kaplan Law Firm, PLLC as it grows.