CNN’s Poppy Harlow quits network to pursue a law degree

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AMERICAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/12/17: Poppy Harlow attends 11th annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at American Museum of Natural History. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

CNN’s Poppy Harlow is taking a break from the network to pursue a law degree.

The anchor shared on Newsroom Tuesday that she will be going to Yale Law School this fall for a one-year program catered to “mid-career journalists seeking an intensive immersion in legal thinking so that they are better able to educate their audiences upon their return to journalism.”

“Starting next week, I will be taking a break from being with you every morning on this show so that I can go back to school. Yes, school! I’m going to study law for a Master’s degree,” she said on the air. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And if this year and a half has taught me anything, it is, why not try!”

Harlow jokingly added that her time off-air is “only going to be until the spring, so you’re not getting rid of me very long.”

Poppy Harlow

In an interview, she told CNN, “I’m someone who’s not taken a lot of risks, who’s been scared of things, but I’m just going to try.”

The anchor turns 40 next year and said her message is “it’s okay to take a risk at 40.”

Both her late father, James Harlow, and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired her to pursue law school.

“As a little girl, I would sit with him at the kitchen table and he would take apart a camera or a printer and say ‘Look, Poppy, this is where they infringed a patent.’ ‘This is why we’re going to court,’ ” she recalled her father telling her.

As for Ginsburg, Harlow did a lot of reporting surrounding her death which prompted her to look back at Justice’s work-life balance. The famed attorney’s career in law ran parallel to her time as a mother and care for her husband Martin, who was diagnosed with cancer.

Harlow thanked her husband — with whom she shares a daughter Sienna, 5, and son Luca James, 3 — for his willingness to  “take on a lot while I try this.”

She also gave a shout-out to her bosses at CNN for being “the rare kind who make the impossible, possible.”

“This is such a terrific opportunity for Poppy and I am so proud of her for committing to it,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said in a statement. “‎She will have a ton on her plate — but I know she will manage it flawlessly and come back enriched and so much better for it.”

Zucker added that CNN “could not be more supportive and‎ we all wish her the best of luck, and not too many all-nighters. I can’t wait to have her back full time in the anchor chair.”

A rotation of co-hosts will join Jim Sciutto while Harlow is off the air, however, she will make occasional appearances during times she doesn’t have class, including holidays and breaks.”Basically, I will never have a holiday. I will anchor every single holiday. You will see me when I don’t have class. You will see me filling in wherever they need me,” Harlow told Variety.

PEOPLE