Steve Leben is the Doulgas R. Stripp Missouri Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law, where he teaches courses on criminal law, legislation, professional responsibility, and appellate advocacy. Leben was a judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals from 2007 to 2020 and a general-jurisdiction Kansas state trial judge from 1993 to 2007. He practiced law in the Kansas City area from 1982 to 1993.
Leben serves as budget officer for the American Bar Association Judicial Division and has served as treasurer or assistant treasurer of the Appellate Judges Education Institute since 2018. He is a past president of the American Judges Association and edited its national journal, Court Review, from 1998 through 2017. He received the National Center for State Courts' William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the National Center's highest award for a judge, in 2014 in recognition of his national work to improve procedural fairness in America's courts. Leben is a cofounder of the website, ProceduralFairness.com, devoted to providing resources on procedural justice for courts and law-enforcement personnel.
Leben is a lecturer at the University of Kansas School of Law. He taught legislation and statutory interpretation there from 2007 to 2020 and has taught KU Law's summer evidence class since 2018.