Next Assignment: Former nuclear sub officer eyes career in Energy Law


Photo courtesy of Anree Little

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

On active duty in the U.S. Navy for most of his adult life, law student Anree Little would like a similar level of professional and personal fulfillment from his next career.

“I think that could be achieved if I felt I was doing something that mattered for the benefit of the public,” he says. “I don’t want to get all ‘Peter Parker,’ but I believe those that can, should.”

Now in his 2L year at the University of Michigan Law School, Little is a 2019 recipient of the Dean’s Public Interest Fellowship. Interning this summer at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Administrative Litigation in the nation’s capital, he is looking forward to getting trial-related and settlement negotiation experience.

“I’m very grateful for the Fellowship,” he says. “The university’s program encourages public service and provides a meaningful financial award that assists students in that pursuit.” 

He adds, “With my family remaining in Ann Arbor, the award will help offset the costs of maintaining both households while I’m working in D.C.”

This will be his second summer internship in D.C.; last year he did a rotation at the Nuclear Energy Institute, the trade organization for the nuclear industry; and at the Department of Energy Offices of General Counsel for Litigation and Enforcement.

Not surprisingly, Little plans to focus his future practice on Energy Law.

“This important area offers many fascinating legal and policy issues and it’s a niche that leverages my technical background,” he says.

That background comprises his time in the Navy, where he served as a nuclear submarine officer. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences from University of Michigan, and earned a master’s degree in applied physics from the Naval Postgraduate School.

He served onboard USS New Hampshire and USS Minnesota, and at The Submarine Learning Center; and his awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various campaign and unit awards.

Separating from active duty in 2017, in February 2018, Little joined the reserve Engineering Duty Officer community and was assigned to Surgemain Detroit as Executive Officer.

A desire to understand the world around him animated his early interest in math and science.

“But the everyday world we inhabit isn’t just governed by physical laws,” he says. “A more complete understanding of our world requires a grasp of how society has chosen to govern itself and resolve the conflicts that arise within it. 
“I believe studying the law alone makes you a better, more informed citizen. The skill also allows you to help people avoid some difficulties or navigate through and maximize the outcome of those difficulties that cannot be avoided.” 
The summer before law school, he volunteered with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I gained an invaluable mentor, and it turned out to be an incredible learning experience,” he says. “I had the privilege to work for Ms. Lisa Lindsey, head of the Special Assignments Unit, a 30-year veteran of the bar, and an unapologetically fierce advocate for justice. She both encouraged and inspired my current interest in litigation.”

Returning to his alma mater to earn his law degree, Little has particular praise for the MLaw faculty.

“All of them are exceedingly qualified and most are also brilliant educators,” he says. “The professors create a dialogue and foster an atmosphere that challenges you to think critically. Their commitment to preparedness motivates me that much more to bring my best effort to each class.”

Last year he was a member of the Mock Trial Team and a volunteer researcher at the Environmental Crimes Project. He is a member of the Black Law Student Association and the Energy Bar Association, an administrative law research assistant for Professor Nicholas Bagley, and hopes to work in the MLaw Veteran’s Clinic next year.

Little volunteers for the U-M Law School Family Law Project, providing legal services for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence tragically and fatally impacted my family, leaving my mother dead and my father in prison,” he says. “U-M Law offers so many opportunities for students to get involved—you can not only find something that you might find interesting but also that speaks to you personally.”  

The Detroit native now lives in Ann Arbor with Lisa, his wife of 10 years, and 4-year-old daughter Arianna. His leisure time interests include hiking, mechanical watches, and personal finance.