Les Parrette started at Harvard College in 1979 “without a game plan,” he recalled. Though his accomplishments varied widely – academics, sports and music – his main goal was, he said, to “try to affect change.”

After considering social work, he switched to law and graduated Harvard Law School in 1986. At his first summer internship for a large Boston law firm, Parrette said he knew he was on the right path.

“It was a phenomenal building, intelligent people, great assignments. It was a feast for me in this new environment,” he recalled.

As the firm was “bustling with venture capital work” and mutual fund disclosure work, Parrette soaked up the knowledge. “You do what you’re told and you take the assignments, and before you know it,” he said, “you actually know something.”

Today, Parrette, a Kansas City native, knows quite a lot: enough to have reached the pinnacle of his law career and achieve “every imaginable professional goal in the law,” he said, including decades in the corporate counsel world. An accomplished drummer and composer, Parrette is also known as an unwavering mentor to decades worth of law students and young attorneys, sharing his pride in them and ability to recite the names of all their children.

Atlanta Business Chronicle has named Les Parrette, who will be 60 this August, the 2021 Corporate Counsel Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He and the award recipients from seven categories were to be honored during a virtual event on May 6.

Last year, Parrette brought his love of learning and growth to the small-business world. Since March 2020, when he left his role as senior vice president and GC at Novelis Inc., Parrette has been focused on One Page Thinking (OPT), a data visualization company he founded in 2003 that he is ready to grow into a commercial success with the help of a staff of four and a rotating group of bright student interns from Georgia Tech and Emory law schools