Grad spotlight: Christopher Rauscher, Bristol, Maine

If there’s one piece of advice that Christopher Rauscher would leave to future graduating classes at the University of Maine Law School, it would be this:

“Fortune favors the brave. You’ve gotta go for it,” he said.

It’s that adventurous spirit, combined with a keen intellect and what Rauscher describes as “appropriate persistence,” that makes this Bristol, Maine, native one of the most unforgettable members of the Maine Law Class of 2012.

At the age of 28, Rauscher has walked across Spain, surfed big waves in Hawaii, delivered a sailboat from Central America to New York, traveled to Costa Rica to interview a semi-feral surfer, taught history to students with psychiatric disorders, and started his own editing and writing company. He leaves Maine Law with a stellar 3.8 GPA.

Rauscher recently landed a fulltime job as policy staffer for Independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King, at the campaign office in Brunswick. If King, a former Maine governor, wins the election this fall, Rauscher hopes to continue on as part of King’s team. Rauscher is juggling the demands of the job with graduation and family life. He and his wife Eliza live in Portland with their 8-month-old daughter, Penelope.

“This is a great time in my life,” Rauscher said. “I’m very lucky.”

Born in West Virginia, Rauscher grew up on the Maine coast and attended Lincoln Academy. Around the age of 12 he discovered a love of surfing, convincing his parents to drive him to Old Orchard Beach to catch the waves. That love of surfing eventually drew him to Nova Scotia, where he attended Dalhousie University and was president of the Classics Society. He graduated in 2007 and started law school at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif. Rauscher transferred to Maine Law after a family emergency.

“Everyone at Maine Law was very welcoming. I think if I had transferred into a bigger school, it would have been a lot harder,” Rauscher said. “People reached out to me. The competition is insane at other schools. It’s a totally different environment here. Your classmates are much more supportive, they want you to succeed.”

Rauscher was production editor of the Maine Law Review, and both of his case notes were published. He has been a summer associate for Bernstein Shur in Portland, a student-attorney for Maine Law’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, a legal clerk for Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman, and a legal extern to Judge Kermit V. Lipez of the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

At this moment, Rauscher is happy raising a daughter and working hard on Angus King’s campaign. To get an interview and land the job, Rauscher said he relied heavily on connections he made during his time at Maine Law. He also relied on certain qualities of character that can’t be taught.

“Basically I started e-mailing the campaign manager, and didn’t stop. It was appropriate persistence,” Rauscher said.

“With the economic situation being what it is, law school graduates have to be very flexible. You have to keep knocking on doors and be ready to go through the door when it’s opened.”