Anita L. Burns graduated in 1984 from Northeast Missouri State University with a degree in Political Science. She received a law degree in 1987 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
After graduating from law school, Anita worked briefly in Brookfield, Missouri for the firm of Brown & Casey and was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Linn County. In 1988, she joined the Missouri State Public Defender Office in Clay County where she remained for ten years. While at the state defender office, Anita tried over 50 jury trials including murder, robbery, rape, burglary, sex offenses, other felony offenses and misdemeanors.
In 1998, Anita joined the Federal Public Defender Office for the Western District of Missouri. During the past sixteen years, she has handled all types of felony offenses charged in federal court during the plea, sentencing, trial, and appellate stages. Ms. Burns has devoted her career to the defense of indigent persons charged with criminal offenses.