Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP announced today that Corporate Partner Christopher S. Auguste is joining Aaron M. Frankel as co-chair of the law firm’s Pro Bono Committee. A longtime champion of diversity and community service, Mr. Auguste currently leads Kramer Levin’s involvement in the Volunteers of Legal Service Microenterprise Project.
Mr. Auguste, the recipient of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) 2016 Diversity Trailblazer Award, serves as the president of the board of the Goddard Riverside Community Center, a nonprofit on the Upper West Side that supports a wide range of programs throughout Manhattan; a board member of YouthBridge-NY, a nonprofit leadership development organization that convenes, trains and prepares young people to meet the challenges of an extremely diverse New York City; and president of the Wadleigh Scholars Program, whose mission is to provide minority and low-income students the opportunity to attend preparatory schools throughout the country.
Paul S. Pearlman, managing partner of Kramer Levin, said, “We are proud of Chris’ longstanding commitment to our communities, and we are most appreciative that he will be helping lead our robust pro bono program.”
“It is an honor to accept this co-chairmanship and continue to nurture the growth of our pro bono program alongside Aaron,” said Mr. Auguste. “I understand firsthand how challenging it is for a minority or someone with a low-income background to succeed. In 1970, I emigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad with my mother and siblings, and we lived in a fifth-floor walk-up apartment in Harlem. Two years later, I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend prep school. Thanks to the support of my community, I was able to go on to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and to build the career that I have here at Kramer Levin today. I’m very grateful, and I want to continually pay that forward.”
Kramer Levin Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair and Partner Aaron Frankel added, “Over the course of 30-plus years, Chris has devoted his Saturday mornings to tutoring and mentoring students — many of whom have gone on to careers in social work and the banking and legal industries. His passion to serve the NYC community is remarkable. I look forward to working with him to support a wide range of pro bono initiatives.”
A corporate attorney at Kramer Levin since 2005, Mr. Auguste focuses his practice on private placement and public offering of debt and equity securities. He is a widely recognized leading practitioner in private investments in public equity (PIPEs), frequently representing hedge funds and placement agents in structuring PIPE transactions. He also represents financial institutions and corporate clients in secured loan transactions and acquisition financings and has counseled corporate clients in debt restructuring.