Faculty Biography

Karen C. Burke

Professor of Law

  • LLM, 1985, Boston University
  • JD, 1982, Stanford University
  • PhD, 1979, Harvard University
  • MA, 1975, Harvard University
  • BA, 1972, Smith College

Areas of Expertise

Professor Burke teaches and writes in the areas of corporate taxation, partnership taxation and tax policy. Her current research interests focus on statutory interpretation, tax shelters, and professional and ethical standards of tax practice.

Professional Experience

Burke clerked for the Honorable Robert E. Keeton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and practiced law with the Boston firm of Sullivan & Worcester. She was the Dorsey & Whitney Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota. Burke was a consultant to the American Law Institute’s federal income tax project on the taxation of private business enterprises and the joint committee on taxation’s tax simplification project. She taught as a visiting professor on the law faculties of University of Florida, Boston College, University of Miami, University of Pennsylvania, and Washington and Lee University. She joined the USD School of Law faculty in 2001.

Honors and Affiliations

Burke is a member of the American Law Institute. She was awarded the William K. Fessler Prize for Outstanding Research and named the Julius E. Davis Professor at the University of Minnesota.

Key Works

Burke’s publications include Corporate Taxation (with Yin) (Aspen Law & Business, 2011); Federal Taxation of Partnerships (with Yin) (Aspen Law & Business, 2009); "Framing Economic Substance" in 31 Virginia Tax Review 271 (2011); "The Sound and Fury of Carried Interest Reform" in 1 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 1 (2010); "Fuzzy Math and Carried Interests: Making Two and Twenty Equal 710" in 127 Tax Notes 885 (2010); "Carlisle: A 'Hollow Victory'?" in 124 Tax Notes 169 (with McCouch) (2009); "COBRA Strikes Back: Anatomy of a Tax Shelter" in 62 Tax Lawyer 59 (with McCouch) (2008); and "Is the Corporate Tax System 'Broken'?" in 28 Virginia Tax Review 341 (2008).

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Karen C. Burke headshot

Contact Information

316 Warren Hall
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(P) (619) 260-7717

Online Resources

Curriculum Vita
Publications on SSRN
Recent Publications


Perla Bleisch
(619) 260-4019