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TECHNOLOGY AND CLIENT SERVICES Mark Chandler Cisco Systems Inc. Legal departments across the country aren’t typically early adopters when it comes to high-tech. According to Corporate Counsel‘s survey of technology used in Fortune 500 legal departments last year, a mere 29 percent of respondents had extranets for outside counsel. But Cisco’s Mark Chandler doesn’t listen to surveys. He hit the ground running when he assumed the general counsel job in 2001, pushing an aggressive in-house tech agenda. Business-side clients use Cisco’s knowledge management tool to start contract negotiations, create and evaluate nondisclosure agreements, process patent applications, and obtain legal training. Chandler, who sits on CC’s editorial board, has also championed Cisco’s legal extranet, through which the networking giant and its six primary outside law firms share information on cases. Last year the extranet was awarded the 2003 Computerworld Honors Laureate medal, the only law department corporate site to receive the honor. COMPLIANCE Frank Fernandez The Home Depot Inc. After joining Home Depot Inc. as general counsel three years ago, Frank Fernandez’s first order of business was to do a comprehensive corporate risk assessment of everyday business practices. Why? Fernandez realized Home Depot had some glaring potential liabilities. What if home product installers weren’t properly licensed and insured? Or if store construction managers weren’t up to snuff on local building laws? Following the review, Home Depot allocated $2 million annually for compliance programs, which aim to protect the superstore chain’s more than 1,500 stores from regulators and consumer lawsuits. No detail is too insignificant, and store managers know that someone’s watching. Each location has a progress-monitoring dashboard, which flashes yellow and red danger signals on a device resembling a traffic signal to the 14 compliance officers who report to Fernandez in Atlanta. For this, he has won legions of admirers, from competitors to the Environmental Protection Agency. OUTSIDE COUNSEL RELATIONS Stacey Mobley E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. Dupont has the kind of clout that makes law firms listen up. Armed with an outside counsel budget of $74 million, associate general counsel Thomas Sager set out in 1998 to radically reconfigure the service and accountability that outside counsel provided for the chemical company. The first step: whittling DuPont’s more than 350 outside firms to a loyal core of 38. When GC Stacey Mobley took over in 2000, he sent staff attorneys and lawyers from these firms to “Six Sigma” training — an all-encompassing method of quality assurance. After as much as 20 days of boot camp, the lawyers were sent back to root out inefficiency in the work they did for the chemical products giant. Along with renegotiating billing arrangements with the firms — fixed fees are common — Mobley and Sager estimate that in the last five years they have saved the company some $68 million in legal costs. DIVERSITY Charles Morgan BellSouth Corp. Bellsouth General Counsel Charles Morgan has not only taken on the role of diversity advocate in chief at his company, he’s also a strong and public diversity advocate nationwide. Morgan is chair of the American Bar Association’s Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice. He wrote the Diversity Statement of Principle, a commitment by corporations to push their outside counsel toward hiring a more diverse group of lawyers. So far, the declaration has been adopted by more than 470 general counsel of major corporations. So maybe it’s just a coincidence that in the five years since a BellSouth diversity committee circulated the Diversity Statement of Principle, minority representation at firms has increased from 12 percent to 14.6 percent, according to the National Association for Law Placement. PRO BONO Gloria Santona McDonald’s Corp. Gloria Santona has made hands-on pro bono work a big part of her legal department’s mission. Since she started there straight out of law school in 1977, Santona, like many McDonald’s execs, has been known to sweep and garden at local Ronald McDonald Houses for seriously ill children. After her promotion to GC three years ago, Santona (who sits on Corporate Counsel‘s editorial board) embarked on her most ambitious projects yet. Besides supplying legal services to Chicago’s poor and elderly, and running a legal advice hotline, she has transformed the in-house legal department into a haven for disadvantaged Chicago children. Santona and her staff host legal seminars at McDonald’s in-house school, Hamburger University, teach high school classes, and several times a year invite some 50 inner-city youth to follow 25 lawyers around for the day. Maybe they’ll be lovin’ a job in Santona’s department someday.

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