• J.D., St. Mary’s University School of Law, 1996
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science, 1989

Specialties and Courses

  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Evidence
  • Trial advocacy
  • Criminal appellate and post-conviction litigation
  • Legal ethics


Prior to joining the faculty at St. Mary’s Law School, Burnham practiced criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels in both state and federal court. She began her legal career as a criminal defense lawyer with the San Antonio based law firm Goldstein, Goldstein and Hilley. Before that, she clerked at the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin.

After law school, Burnham was a Briefing Attorney for Chief Justice David Wellington Chew on the Eighth Judicial District Court of Appeals in El Paso, and Judge Charles Baird on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She speaks at seminars and conferences throughout the State on various issues pertaining to the practice of criminal law, including pretrial and sentencing considerations, evidence, preservation of error, appellate practice and post-conviction litigation. She co-authored a law review article challenging the constitutionality of a statute regarding writs of habeas corpus for death row inmates.

She was the founding editor and editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s publication, The Defender. She served as an officer with the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association from 1999-2011, and has served on the association’s Board of Directors since 2011. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and is involved with several committees, including the indigent defense committee. Burnham is licensed to practice law in Texas, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

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