Michael  A.  Wilder
Michael A. Wilder
Littler Mendelson P.C.
Employment law
40 Under Class – 2015

Michael Wilder might be young, but he has achieved a string of successful results for his clients that would be the envy of lawyers far more experienced.

It’s why Wilder, an employment and labor law expert and Shareholder with Chicago’s Littler Mendelson, is considered one of the top young attorneys in Chicago.

A good example is cited by nominator Charles Harris with Chicago’s Mayer Brown. Wilder served as trial counsel in the well-publicized case of Boutros vs. Avis Rent A Car System. The plaintiff in this case filed complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

This was a complicated case, but Wilder and his legal team won a complete defense verdict for their client.This win came about in no small part because of Wilder’s powerful opening statement and his direct and cross examinations during the trial, Harris said.

This is just one of Wilder’s many successes. For instance, he successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of a refractories company, a case that resulted in the court’s affirmation of the district court’s summary judgment decision. He also defended a major healthcare provider in a class-action appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in which the court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of all counts with prejudice.

While Wilder has been impressive in the courtroom, he’s also well-respected for the amount of time he gives back to his industry and community.

“In addition to being a great lawyer, Michael is a wonderful person,” said one nominator.“He has a terrific bedside manner with clients. He is thoughtful, thought-provoking and provides wise and sage counsel well beyond his 33 years of age.”

Paul Krause, with Chicago’s ArcelorMittal USA, agreed that few attorneys can match Wilder when it comes to community service.

“He is perhaps the most engaged and involved lawyer I know at his age in the legal community,” Krause said.“When we worked together, he was always doing extracurricular and pro bono activities to support the legal community. Whatever the event or activity, Michael was doing it with enthusiasm.”

Wilder serves as Littler Mendelson’s Hiring Shareholder for the Chicago Office and as the Firm’s 2015 Fellow for the Leadership Council on Leadership Diversity; is a member of the National Black Lawyers Top 100; a member of the Board of Directors for the Just The Beginning - A Pipeline Program; and was Co- Chair of CARPLS’s 2015 Golden Gavel Celebration Dinner that raised over $440,000 for the legal aid fund to assist low- income residents in Cook County, Illinois.

Wilder isn’t shy about sharing his experience with younger attorneys, too. He regularly provides seminars for young lawyers and law students about resume and interview tips. He is also writing a book entitled “The Playbook for Wealth, Power & Success,” due out later this year, that will provide a roadmap for young men on the topics of education, relationships and finances.

As if this isn’t a busy enough schedule,Wilder is a movie critic. You can find his reviews at his website: WilderPost.com.