Bill Burke made it to the top of Mount Everest for a second time on May 25, 2014, and this time placed the Stanford Law School flag atop the famed mountain.He is the oldest person outside of Asia to claim this achievement. His first Mount Everest climb took place on May 23, 2009, when he set the record for the oldest American to return alive from the climb. Burke took up high-altitude mountaineering after retiring from practice in 2003, starting with Mount Rainier and Mount McKinley. Since then, he has climbed the highest mountain on each continent, all after reaching age 60. He decided to place the law school flag on Mount Everest because, he says, it “proves that Stanford Law School is on Top of the World.”
Burke’s career in law spans decades of practice in the United States, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, specializing in capital market transactions and appeals in federal and state courts. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award on four occasions for his writing and legal reform work, including one from the Business Law Section of the California State Bar Association. He resides in Costa Mesa, Calif., with his wife, Sharon, and has 4 children and 14 grandchildren.