Laura Coates, CNN Senior Legal Analyst and SiriusXM Host, is a well-respected attorney, commentator, author, and adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law. Coates' depth of experience and broad expertise has earned her acclaim across all media platforms. She is the author of Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor's Fight For Fairness.
At CNN, Coates played a central role in the network's programming surrounding the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, including hosting a special entitled "White House in Crisis: The Impeachment Inquiry." In June 2020, Coates made fundamental contributions to the coverage of the unrest in Minneapolis and the protests around the world following George Floyd's death. During this national reckoning on race, she moderated "Mayors Who Matter: A CNN Town Hall on Race and Covid-19" with four female African American mayors on the front lines. Coates also regularly serves as fill-in anchor for CNN's Don Lemon, conducting prominent interviews and informing viewers in primetime.
In 2017, she launched the daily eponymous talk show, "The Laura Coates Show," on SiriusXM where she engages the audience with a lively discussion on the intersections of politics, law, and pop culture.
Recognizing the dire need for increased police accountability and improved police-community relations, she wrote the bestselling 2016 book, You Have the Right: A Constitutional Guide to Policing the Police. In the book, Laura removes the legalese and helps ordinary citizens know and understand their 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment rights.
A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Coates graduated from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the University of Minnesota Law School, where she serves on the Board of Advisors, before beginning her legal career in private practice. She practiced law in Minnesota and New York handling cases ranging from intellectual property litigation and First Amendment issues to Defamation and Media law. Called to public service, she transitioned from private practice to the United States Department of Justice, thriving as a federal prosecutor. She served as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice during the Bush and Obama administrations, specializing in the enforcement of voting rights throughout the country. She also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, prosecuting a myriad of violent felony offenses including drug trafficking, armed offenses, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.
She and her husband live in Washington, DC with their two young children. You can find her on social media at @thelauracoates.