Burke spent five years as a prosecutor for the Securities & Exchange Commission in the Division of Enforcement before entering the futures industry in 1976, when he became general counsel of the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (Comex), where he was responsible for compliance oversight, the disciplinary process, and other corporate governance. In 1980, he established his own law firm, Louis F. Burke PC, specializing in representing floor brokers, floor traders, FCMs, IBs, CPOs, and CTAs in all areas of the futures business. 
Burke became a floor-trading member of the New York Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange, Inc. in 1984 and the New York Cotton Exchange, Inc. in 1987. His firm has been a partner in several New York City law firms including Marchi, Jaffe, Steinberg, Crystal, Katz and Burke; Richards & O’Neil; and Townley & Updike.
Burke graduated from New England School of Law (J.D., 1970), where he was an editor of the New England Law Review (1969–1970), and was admitted to the New York bar in 1973.