As the associate general counsel for Georgia State University, Bharath Parthasarathy's job isn't "sexy or headline-grabbing," says Kerry Heyward, his supervisor, "but it's the way he works and the value he brings to the task. It's the culmination of everything."
Parthasarathy's work at Georgia State may be under the radar, but the next time you see any of the university's athletic teams play, know that Parthasarathy was the lawyer who hammered out the deals and the details. And there are a lot of them.
For instance, the football program, which started in 2010, is moving up from the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision in only its fourth season. It required working out the conference realignment, moving from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Sun Belt Conference and the team's schedule, including nonconference games with marquee teams such as the University of Alabama and the University of Oregon. It also required negotiating contracts with the Georgia Dome (the university's home field), Nike and various television and radio entities.
With the retirement of coach Bill Curry came the hiring of a new head coach, Trent Miles, and Parthasarathy handled that contract as well.
In addition to his legal work for the football team, Parthasarathy handles all the legal work for the athletics department and a significant portion of the university's transactional matters. He also successfully negotiated the transfer of responsibility for Hurt Park from the city of Atlanta to the university.
There are no templates for much of the work he does, he says. "There is no 'standard' TV deal. Each is unique. It really is how do we want to create this deal, this contract," he says.
Heyward says Parthasarathy is up to the challenge. "He has an incredible energy level and enthusiasm," she says. "He is able to focus on details while always keeping the big picture in perspective."
Parthasarathy's job involves a lot of transactional work, and that's just fine with him. "I'm drawn to the business side of law," he says.
Parthasarathy started his career at Alston & Bird, working on health care and compliance regulation issues. He left Alston in mid-2007 to develop a friend's international medical charity focused on providing health-care services in Liberia. He then joined Georgia State's Office of Legal Affairs in September 2007.
The university setting, he says, suits him. The son and brother of academics, Parthasarathy, who is studying for his MBA at Georgia State, says his position allows him to mesh "my interest in public policy [with] being involved in problem solving and in solving business challenges. I'm hooked."