ExxonMobil Corp. vice president and general counsel Charles Matthews not only encourages the approximately 460 lawyers in his company’s law department to provide pro bono legal services, he also persuades other corporate legal departments to get involved.

“You can’t have a fair system of justice if there are people who are shut out,” says Matthews, who joined Exxon’s law department in 1971 and became the corporation’s general counsel in 1995. Matthews became general counsel and vice president of ExxonMobil when the two oil companies merged in 1999.