Judge Burlison was in private law practice from 1980 until 2000.
From 1991 until March of 2000, Judge Burlison served a (5) terms as an elected Alderman for the City of Cottleville, Missouri.
In March of 2000, he was appointed an Associate Circuit Judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit by Governor Mel Carnahan.
In 2001 Judge Burlison was appointed as Chief Counsel of the Eastern District of the Missouri Attorney Generals Office. He served in that capacity until 2009, when he was appointed by Missouri Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon as Director of the Office of the Governor, Eastern Region.
Judge Burlison was appointed to the 22nd Judicial Circuit as Circuit Judge on August 9, 2011, by Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon.
Married to Rita L. Burlison on April 2, 1977, they have four daughters Holly Weinhold, Nicole Knepper, Judge Erin Burlison and Brenley Hanes.