From the head of the class to the “Jeopardy!” set?
It could happen for Laura Coates, a legal analyst for CNN and adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School.
Coates, a former associate at Kasowitz Benson Torres and a former assistant U.S. attorney in D.C., was one of two names longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek floated last weekend as his possible replacement, should he decide to retire from the popular quiz show in 2020 when his contract expires. Trebek, 78, also mentioned Los Angeles Kings hockey announcer Alex Faust during an interview with TMZ.
Coates appears open to the career switch, tweeting that she was “honored and humbled” by Trebek’s endorsement and calling “Jeopardy!” her “favorite game show ever.” She said on CNN Wednesday that she called Trebek to thank him for throwing her name into the mix.
Coates graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2005 and, at Kasowitz, she handled intellectual property and First Amendment litigation before becoming a federal prosecutor. As assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, she prosecuted drug trafficking, domestic violence and child abuse cases.
From there, Coates launched a media career. In addition to weighing in on legal matters for CNN, she hosts “The Laura Coates Show” on Sirius XM, where she discusses news and pop culture. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
She has taught legal drafting as a “professorial lecturer” at George Washington since 2015, according to a law school spokeswoman. She was appointed “based on her extensive litigation experience as a federal prosecutor and law firm associate” the school said.
Coates has earned praise from students for her enthusiasm and willingness to delve into current events in the classroom.
“In professor Coates’ class, I learned more than I have in any other law school class,” according to one student evaluation the school provided. Coates is not scheduled to teach this fall due to a “busy schedule,” according to the law school.
Coates is also the author of the 2016 book, “You Have the Right: A Constitutional Guide to Policing the Police.”
It remains to be seen whether or not “Jeopardy!” will be in the market for a new host soon. Trebek, who has been the face of the show since 1984, told TMZ that the odds of him staying on after 2020 are “50/50 and a little less.”