Justice Burdick received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance from the University of Colorado in 1970 and graduated from the University of Idaho, School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1974. From 1970 to 1971, he worked as a bank examiner with the Idaho Department of Finance. From 1974 to 1980, he worked with the law firm of Webb, Pike, Burton & Carlson in Twin Falls, Idaho, then as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Ada County, and finally as a partner with the law firm of Hart and Burdick, in Jerome, Idaho.
While with Hart and Burdick from 1976 to 1980, he served as a Public Defender in Camas, Lincoln, Jerome and Gooding Counties, as well as a general practice. In November 1980, he was elected as Prosecuting Attorney for Jerome County. In September 1981 he was appointed Magistrate Judge in Jerome County and served until September 1993. During that time, he was appointed the first Magistrate member of the Idaho Judicial Council, President of Idaho Magistrate Association and Chairman of Juvenile Rules Committee and served on numerous other committees.
Having been appointed District Judge in Twin Falls County in 1993 he served on various Idaho Supreme Court advisory committees, including Chairman of Idaho Administrative Rule 32 Committee. He again served on the Idaho Judicial Council as the District Court member from 1995 to 2001 as the District Judge. He served as President of the District Judges Association from 2001 to 2003. In 2001, he was assigned to preside over the Snake River Basin Adjudication as well as the Administrative Judge for the Fifth Judicial District.
Governor Dirk Kempthorne appointed him in August, 2003 to be the fifty-third Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court. He won re-election in 2004 and 2010. Having served as Vice Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court from August 1, 2007 until July 31, 2011, he began serving a four-year term as Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court on August 1, 2011.