Education

  • 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
  • Appellate and Post-Conviction Litigation

Biography

Prior to joining the St. Mary’s Law faculty in 2007, Professor Burnham served as a Briefing Attorney for Chief Justice David Wellington Chew on the Eighth Judicial District Court of Appeals in El Paso, Texas, and Judge Charles Baird on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

She started her career as a criminal defense lawyer with the San Antonio-based law firm Goldstein, Goldstein and Hilley (now Goldstein and Orr) where she practiced at the trial and appellate levels in both state and federal court. She opened her own criminal defense firm in 2000.

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.

Professor Burnham has 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, and the law school committee, of which she is the committee chair. She is a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and Texas Bar Foundation. 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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