karen steinhauser

Karen Steinhauser

Adjunct Faculty


Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Trial Advocacy

Professional Biography

Karen Steinhauser is a judge, a trial lawyer, adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and NITA Instructor. She has practiced law for 42 years and has tried more than 300 jury trials, and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer from 2012-2022. Judge Steinhauser has taught Evidence and Trial Advocacy as well as other substantive classes at Denver Law for 32 years and was the traveling mock trial coach for 17 years, leading the teams to two National Championships. She has been a faculty member for NITA for 32 years, serving as a Program Director for custom programs such as Trial Skills Programs, Deposition Programs, Fact Finding Programs and Mediation Programs, and has also served as Co-Program Director for NITA’s flagship National Trial Skills Program.

Judge Steinhauser began her legal career in 1981 as a prosecutor for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for 20 years, and started the Domestic Violence Unit, the first in the state, focusing on crimes against child and adult victims of abuse. She was appointed to a full-time faculty position at at DU for six years, where she served as coordinator for the law school’s Legal Externship Program, and taught Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Trial Practice and Advanced Trial Practice. She then went into private practice focusing on civil trial work, including employment law, professional liability defense and personal injury. She later expanded her practice to include domestic relations law and criminal defense. Judge Steinhauser was the owner of The Law Office of Karen Steinhauser, LLC, for 12 years, focusing exclusively on criminal defense for juveniles and adults. She was appointed as a relief judge for Aurora Municipal Court in September of 2018. Steinhauser was also awarded the Prentiss Marshall award by NITA in 2017, for the Development of Innovative Teaching Methods or Programs, for the work she did developing an implicit bias training program for the NITA National Trial Skills Session. Judge Steinhauser currently provides implicit bias workshops to lawyers and non-lawyers, including various government agencies and schools. She frequently serves as a media consultant both locally and nationally, being asked to comment on various high-profile cases and legal issues.