J. Ricky Coates


J. Ricky Coates earned his undergraduate degree in English at The University of Georgia in 2011. While at Georgia, Ricky was an orientation leader, a member of The Arch Society, and was selected as one of twelve outstanding senior leaders chosen by the faculty.
Ricky received his Juris Doctorate from Samford University, Cumberland School of law in 2014. While at Samford, Ricky was a member of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, a public interest fellow, and a member of Cumberland’s National Negotiation team. His article Mims v. Arrow Financial Services, LLC: The Battle Between Exclusive State Jurisdiction and Concurrent Jurisdiction was published in the American Journal of Trial Advocacy in 2014. Ricky was also the scholar of merit for his classwork in real estate transactions, public health law, bioethics and the law, and employment discrimination.
During his time at Samford, Ricky also pursued his Masters in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he graduated with a focus in healthcare organization and policy in 2014 in the top 1 % of his class. While in his master’s program, Ricky interned for a company researching the implications of the Affordable Care Act on wellness program incentives for employers, health plans, and healthcare facilities.
After being admitted to practice law in Georgia in 2014, Ricky began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Augusta Judicial Circuit in 2015, where he gained invaluable trial experience prosecuting serious felonies. In total, Ricky prosecuted 558 cases while in Augusta and served as lead counsel on ten jury trials. He was promoted to a trial team leader in 2018 and was tapped by the District Attorney to be the sole prosecutor assigned to the newly formed C.A.V.E. task force (Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly) that sought to identify and eradicate unlicensed personal care homes in Richmond, Burke, and Columbia counties. While in Augusta, Ricky also volunteered at Rape Crisis, where he educated new volunteers about the criminal justice system.
In his spare time, Ricky enjoys traveling, kayaking, tennis, and watching University of Georgia football.

Practice Groups

  • Construction Litigation
  • General Liability


  • Juris Doctor, 2014, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
  • Master of Public Health, 2014, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Bachelor of Arts, 2011, University of Georgia


  • Georgia, 2014
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Georgia Supreme Court


  • State Bar of Georgia