News & Announcements

Weil to Host Launch of PENCIL’s Legal Industry Advisory Group

Leading nonprofit will introduce New York City public school
students to potential legal careers

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 27, 2022: International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is pleased to announce that it will host the launch of PENCIL’s Legal Industry Advisory Group on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at the firm’s offices at 767 Fifth Avenue.

PENCIL was founded in 1995 with the goal of raising awareness about public education by inviting civic and business leaders into New York City public schools. To date, PENCIL has connected more than 50,000 students to success by building partnerships that bring together business professionals and students across New York City.

PENCIL’s new Legal Industry Advisory Group, which pairs the organization’s leadership with prominent law firms and corporations, will introduce New York City public school students to the potential benefits of a legal career and provide mentorship, internship and skill development opportunities. The Legal Industry Advisory Group will work with PENCIL staff and partner schools to create volunteer programs that teach students about the industry and associated careers while providing them with the skills and opportunities to pursue this path.

Weil joins other prominent law firms as a charter member of the new Legal Industry Advisory Group, including Davis Polk, McDermott Will & Emery, Mintz, Paul Hastings, Paul, Weiss, and Perkins Coie. Other firms attending the kickoff include Covington & Burling, Fried Frank, McCarter & English, Skadden, Smith Gambrell Russell as well as representatives from BNY Mellon, Emigrant Partners, Peloton, Saatva and Visa. Additional members of the Legal Industry Advisory Group will be announced throughout the year. (Firms and companies interested in joining this collective effort should reach out to PENCIL for information about membership).

Weil’s director of Social Responsibility and the Weil Foundation, Hedieh Fakhriyazdi, said: “Weil has played an instrumental role in helping to support PENCIL as they put together their Legal Industry Advisory Group, which will help the organization meaningfully introduce high school students to career pathways into the legal profession. The Firm is on the front lines of guiding students – starting at the middle school level – toward the legal profession.”

Jade Grieve, Chief of Student Pathways, for the New York City Department of Education, said: “PENCIL’s launch of the Legal Industry Advisory Group, and the coordinated work that will come from it, is a wonderful example of how the city’s business leaders can support the Chancellor’s north star vision for every student to have pathways to rewarding careers and long-term economic security. We look forward to the impact this effort can have on expanded opportunities for NYC students across the legal industry – and the impact students will have on the legal industry as they step into those opportunities!”

Jessica Bynoe, PENCIL’s President added: “We are excited and encouraged by the number of firms and corporations that are eager to be involved in this effort. When we work together to open students’ eyes to the infinite possibilities in front of them, we not only ensure their future success, but also ensure the city’s success by helping businesses prepare and recruit the best talent from their own backyard.”

Weil’s history of working with PENCIL in connecting students to success is longstanding. Partner Mariel Cruz is a member of the Board of Directors of PENCIL. Retired Partner Howard Chatzinoff was Chair of the Board of PENCIL from 2013 to 2019 and continues to serve as a member of the Board. Members of Weil’s New York office are frequently encouraged to engage with organizations like PENCIL.

Weil's Commitment to Social Responsibility

Weil is committed to engaging as a responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we live and work. We are one of the first law firms to establish a comprehensive social responsibility program, including a charitable foundation, leading the firm to mobilize attorneys and administrative staff and ultimately help bring about social change.

About Weil

Founded in 1931, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has been a preeminent provider of legal services for more than 90 years. With approximately 1,100 lawyers in offices on three continents, Weil has been a pioneer in establishing a geographic footprint that has allowed the Firm to partner with clients wherever they do business. The Firm’s four departments, Corporate, Litigation, Restructuring, and Tax, Executive Compensation & Benefits, and more than two dozen practice groups are consistently recognized as leaders in their respective fields.


PENCIL is a New York City-based non-profit. New York City schools are filled with students who have potential and ambition to go far, and we envision a city filled with students whose opportunities match their ambitions. Since 1995, we’ve played a critical role in bringing together business professionals, educators, and students to open eyes, open minds, and open doors. By doing so, we connect students to success. Learn more at

Media Inquiries
Weil Public Relations

Christopher Rieck

Director, Communications

  • +1 (212) 310-6710