Vanderbilt law professor to appear on Jeopardy! Professors Tournament


Gautam Hans, an associate clinical professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, will appear on the inaugural Jeopardy! Professors Tournament when it premieres on Dec. 6.

Hans is the director of Vanderbilt’s Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic and supervises students on cases that involve rights to freedom of speech. The clinic has helped assert First Amendment rights through litigation at both the state and federal level, as well as policy advocacy and legislation.

Hans has been a lifetime fan of Jeopardy! and grew up watching the show in Detroit. His parents, both doctors and immigrants from India, considered it one of the few shows acceptable for him to watch because it was educational.

“I love the show,” he said. “I loved Alex Trebek; he was such an icon.”

Hans even dressed up as the longtime host in the third grade for Halloween.

Hans took a 50-question online test just for kicks during the pandemic, but after qualifying for further screening, he received a formal invitation to appear on the show as one of 15 college professors from around the nation.

“Gautam is a beloved faculty colleague, a gifted teacher and scholar and one of the most engaged and engaging members of our community,” said Chris Guthrie, dean of the law school. “We are very fortunate to have him at Vanderbilt, and we wish him all the best on Jeopardy.”

Hans said that he sees a lot of similarities between competing on Jeopardy! and practicing law.

“Sometimes a question can be tricky or weird, and you have to say, ‘What are the clues in the question?’” he said. “When you see people make mistakes in the show, it’s very similar to how people make mistakes before a judge. That became very clear to me when I was watching and preparing.”