Hal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Washington State University and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. Hal practiced law for 15 years in Michigan and then Washington. Harold "Hal" Peterson grew up near the old gold camp in Fox, Alaska, only a couple miles from where Felix Pedro first discovered gold in the region. He spent his early years hiking and exploring many of hills that comprise Alaska's golden valley. The experience inspired a significant portion of the of his novel, Better Angels.