The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law’s Pre-Law Boot Camp is designed for entering first-year law students who want to get a jump start on the skills needed to be successful in law school. Throughout the Pre-Law Boot Camp, the attendees will learn about legal writing, including how to engage in a proper legal analysis. Attendees will also be exposed to first-year courses and a series of hands-on learning activities.   

Beginning in June, weekly 1-hour webinars will be available addressing various components of law school success. In July, a week-long boot camp will be held from July 17-21, 2023. 

Questions? Contact Timothy Peterkin, Visiting Director of Academic Support, at

Part I: Sunday Sessions

1-hour live Zoom sessions will be held once a week on Sundays from June 4, 2023 - July 16, 2023. During these sessions, Professor Timothy Peterkin will lead discussions on the following topics:

  • June 4 – How government works: Federal vs. state and the three branches of government
  • June 11 – What is “good” law? Case precedent, stare decisis, and effective note-taking strategies
  • June 18 – Case law and addressing the components of a case
  • June 25 – Issue spotting activities and law school exam strategies
  • July 9 – Case briefing and outlining for law school
  • July 16 – Mock class

These Sunday sessions will be recorded and available on the following respective Mondays for those who could not attend the live Zoom sessions.

Part II: Boot Camp 

The Pre-Law Boot Camp will be held from July 17-21, 2023. The boot camp is a week-long session designed to give incoming law students a competitive advantage. Attendees will attend Zoom sessions hosted by law professors across the country as they give a sneak peek into Contracts and Real Property Law. These sessions will introduce the attendees to critical academic skills needed to be successful in law school. 

These sessions will be held live on Zoom from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. PST each day. There are readings that are assigned for each day. Professors will be teaching mock classes during boot camp week and attendees who are most prepared will get the greatest benefit. The daily schedule will include an academic skills session, contracts and property classes, and hands-on activities. At the end of the week, students will be given an assessment to help gauge their learning and retention.

Attendees are encouraged to attend Part I and II, but they can be attended independently.

Learn more about the Pre-Law Boot Camp

Meet the Pre-Law Boot Camp faculty

Professor Kelly Collinsworth

Professor Kelly Collinsworth joined the faculty of Southern Illinois School of Law in the summer of 2022. Prior to joining the faculty, Collinsworth was an Associate Dean and Director of Experiential Education at the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law.  She previously taught at Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky where she was the Legal Studies Coordinator, University Pre-Law Advisor, and Director of Education Abroad.  Her practice experience includes serving as a staff attorney at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass and Kentucky Legal Aid.  She also served as Assistant County Attorney for Bath County, Kentucky.  Professor Collinsworth earned her Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown College and her Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University.  She is licensed to practice law in Kentucky and South Dakota. Professor Collinsworth’s research interests include law and popular culture, access to justice, and high-impact teaching practices.  She particularly enjoys connecting her research and teaching to the fictional world of Harry Potter.

A headshot of Professor Kelly Collinsworth
A headshot of Professor Hannah Haksgaard
Professor Hannah Haksgaard

Professor Hannah Haksgaard (nee Alsgaard) was born in Kentucky, but grew up outside of Yankton, South Dakota, where she received her K-12 education. She returned to Kentucky for college before attending law school in California. During law school, Professor Haksgaard was an editor of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice and was a graduate student instructor in the Berkeley Legal Studies department for two undergraduate classes: Government & the Family and Reproduction, Sex & the Law. Following law school, Professor Haksgaard clerked for the Honorable Roberto Lange of the District of South Dakota and the Honorable Kermit Bye of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Haksgaard joined the USD Knudson Law faculty in 2016.

Professor Timothy J. Peterkin

Professor Timothy J. Peterkin is the Director of Academic Support at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. In that role, Professor Peterkin works closely with first-year law students as they adjust to the demands of law school, as well as the differences in teaching styles and testing. 

Professor Peterkin has spent years coaching incoming law students on their journey to academic success. He began his teaching career in 2007 at North Carolina Central University School of Law. During his time there, he co-authored his first book in an effort to help first-year law students learn to become successful in law school. Subsequently, he has coordinated pre-law boot camps across the country. 

A portrait of Professor Timothy J. Peterkin