Steven Tennison, 3L

Steven Tennison took an unconventional route to Michigan Law. Growing up as an Army brat, he was accustomed to changes in scenery. The idea of home, he quickly learned, came to mean the people he was with rather than a place. “From my dad, I also learned to fearlessly pursue unique opportunities or adventures,” he says.

After studying nuclear engineering at West Point, Tennison joined the Army, which gave him the chance to work around the world. At one point, he was deployed to Afghanistan and later to Alaska, where he has family connections. “That was the closest thing to home when I was growing up,” he says.

After the Army, he lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, and worked as a train conductor and later as a dispatcher. During this time, Tennison got his first taste of advocacy while working as a union steward. He learned about labor rules and how to negotiate effectively with management. The experience influenced him to dream bigger, and he pursued law school.

My scholarship is what allowed me to pursue law school and my dream of returning to Alaska and doing impactful work.”

“I only wanted to go to law school in a way that aligned with my personality and goals,” says Tennison. That meant a school with a national reach, so he could return to Alaska, and somewhere with a community that is more supportive than competitive. Michigan Law checked all the boxes.

After graduation, Tennison plans to join Davis Wright in Anchorage, Alaska, and work on real estate and real property matters. With Alaska’s vast natural resources, he hopes to play a role in pursuing smart and sustainable development. “There’s a great community of Michigan Law alumni in the state, and I can’t wait to join them,” he says.