Burke graduated from Arizona State College of Law in 1986, and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Broadcast Journalism from University of Arizona. She worked at four judicial clerkships for the Arizona appellate courts, and served as an Assistant Attorney General, as in-house captive counsel for Motorola Corporation. She also worked in a small firm and served as a staff attorney at the Arizona Supreme Court.
Currently, Barbara is highly involved in the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and serves on its state board of directors and as past president of the Maricopa Chapter and serve son its steering committee. She is a member of the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission and the Irish Cultural Center. Barbara is highly involved in cross cultural exchange efforts.
A single parent of three grown children., her daughter Shannon is at Simpson Thatcher in New York practicing private equities law, her younger son Patrick is a community college student ,and son Daniel is multiply handicapped and lives in a group home.
Burke has been a professor at Arizona Summit Law School since 2007 and has taught: commercial law, business associations, family law, community property law, international law, NAFTA, administrative law, contracts, property, alternative dispute resolution, and has overseen LP I and LP II, mediation class and Summer externships.