MPW.71 / 2019 Brad Woolridge: Boonville’s Lawyer Entrepreneur by Lathan Goumas
Photographer
Lathan Goumas Chesapeake, Va.
Team Eppridge

Story Summary

Boonville’s 41-year-old city attorney is a seventh generation Cooper County resident and part of the third generation of his family to work as a lawyer in Boonville.

“I was born here, raised here, live here, work here and I’ll die here,” the youngest of five said.

The attorney owns and operates WJ’s, a local restaurant named after William Jesse Wooldridge, his paternal great uncle. He also owns the Main Street Pub. He works the bar at WJ’s from Wednesday through Saturday. If things get busy he takes orders and prepares food, too.

After closing at WJ’s, Wooldridge said he typically heads home to check on his wife, Katie Wooldridge, 33, his kids, Kennedy, 5, and Cooper, 3, before heading to the Main Street Pub for another quick check in.

“I knew as soon as I went to school I wanted to come back to town,” he said. Wooldridge graduated with a law degree in 2003 from the University of Missouri School of Law. When Wooldridge returned to Boonville he began working as a lawyer alongside his father, Paul Wooldridge.

“My career goal was to practice law with my old man,” he said. In July of 2005, Paul Wooldridge died of a heart attack as Brad Wooldridge was preparing to open WJ’s. Wooldridge practices law in the same office with his oldest sister, Wendy Wooldridge.