Rita Bolt-Barker

“One of the best of the best”: Rita Bolt Barker ’01

Rita Bolt Barker was the first woman elected Clemson University student body president; her leadership verve has continued to grow. She has recently been described as “one of the best of the best” by the American Bar Association when they named her as one of only 12 lawyers across the country to receive the prestigious Distinguished Environmental Advocacy Award. The award recognizes the contributions of lawyers to the development of law, policy and programs in the areas of energy and the environment.

Bolt Barker double majored in political science, and speech and communications at Clemson. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School. Her work as an environmental lawyer with the Greenville law firm Wyche includes advising clients on federal and state environmental laws. She also advises businesses on assessing environmental risks and incentives associated with corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and real estate deals, including brownfield redevelopment.

Bolt Barker has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and as a “Rising Star” by South Carolina Super Lawyers. She was also named “Legal Elite” and one of the Upstate’s “Best and Brightest Under 35” by Greenville Business Magazine.

Chair of the board of directors for Greenville Forward, Bolt Barker also serves as vice president of the board of directors for the Friends of the Reedy River and is a member of the City of Greenville’s Green Ribbon Advisory Committee and Brownfield Task Force. She teaches a course on environmental law and conservation advocacy at Furman University.

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