Baxter International, the global health care company based in Chicago, was feeling the economic pinch two years ago, and its legal department was looking for ways to cut costs. General counsel David Scharf found a unique answer: He turned several legal projects over to an innovative corporate lab at the University of Chicago Law School. And he’s been delighted with the results.

Baxter’s lawyers “coach” the students, often holding meetings with them in the company offices. “It’s a win-win,” Scharf says, explaining that the students receive real-world corporate legal experience while “we get outside law firm–quality projects done at no cost to us.”

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