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As any good cook knows, it’s much more satisfying to start from scratch. Having an idea, putting together raw ingredients, and transforming them into a harmonious, delicious dish is worth all the hard work. And so it is with the trailblazers we feature this month. Four corporate counsel, four innovative projects. All started their programs from scratch, and all have come up with impressive results that provide a model to their in-house counterparts. It wasn’t easy settling on these four standout lawyers. We sent questionnaires to law firm managing partners, general counsel, recruiters, and others, and asked for nominations. We plowed through dozens of responses, and debated among ourselves. And Corporate Counsel reporters talked to attorneys, experts, and consultants to make sure our choices were the real deal. They are. Pfizer Inc.’s Laura Kibbeis one of the few in-house lawyers to put together a crack in-house electronic discovery team. While many law departments shell out big bucks to consultants to sift through their company’s e-mails and digital files, Kibbe hired a team of technorati and lawyers, and they did it themselves. Like a good souffl�, it wasn’t easy. But now Pfizer can call up anything its litigation opponents want without outsourcing the job. The Bank of New York’s Matthew Bibenwas hired in the wake of a money laundering scandal to put a cutting-edge compliance program in place, pronto. He fulfilled his mandate, and more. Biben quickly hired ex-prosecutors to work on meeting government requests, reshaped the department, and installed state-of-the-art case management technology. Thanks to his efforts, the bank avoided a potentially disastrous federal prosecution. Exelon Corporation’s William Von Hoene, Jr., put together a pro bono program that touches every facet of his department’s operation. He lets lawyers devote 50 billable hours to pro bono work each year. He asks outside firms to come up with and/or lead projects. And he engages his lawyers by asking them to propose their own pro bono projects. It’s not surprising that Exelon’s lawyers beat the 50 percent department participation goals set by the Pro Bono Institute, something few companies have done. Sometimes it’s not all about thinking up ideas, but carrying them out above and beyond the call of duty. Ask Carl “Tobey” Oxholm, GC of Drexel University. His boss wanted a law school, fast. Oxholm sped into action, hiring faculty, setting curricula, and renting classroom space (while supervising construction of a made-to-order law library), all in 18 months. Hard work, brilliant results. Click below to find out more about our Trailblazers of 2006. Bringing It All Back Home: Laura Kibbe Culturing Compliance: Matthew Biben A Firm Commitment: William Von Hoene, Jr. Founding Father: Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III

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