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Charles J. Merriam Distinguished Professor of Law
Affiliate Professor of Psychology
Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Innovation

Professor Ellman’s spent the largest part of his career studying Family Law. He served as Chief Reporter and the Justice Ammi Cutter Reporter of the Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution, published in 2002 by the American Law Institute, and was the senior author of a leading text on family law that went through 5 editions. His most recent work in family law focused on an empirical investigation into people's judgments about the obligations the law should require of famiily members to one another, done in collabotation with social psychologists, work that was extended to the United Kingdom in collaborations established while Professor Ellman was a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge in 2013.

Professor Ellman served on many legislative and judicial committees in Arizona concerned with family law and policy, including the Arizona Child Support Guidelines Committee. He has also written on health care law and was a founding member of the Bioethics Committee of Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix.

Professor Ellman is currently Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California at Berkeley. His current research, also interdicplinary, has shifted to the legal policy applied to sex offenders, and especially to those convicted of possession of erotic images of minors.

Professor Ellman served as law clerk for Justice William O. Douglas of the United States Supreme Court, as legislative aide to Senator Adlai Stevenson III, and a consultant to the California legislature. He also practiced law in San Francisco. 



B.A., Reed College (1967)

M.A., University of Illinois, Urbana (1969)

J.D., University of California, Berkeley (1973)


"Frightening and High": The Supreme Court's Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics, 30 Constitutional Commentary 495 (2015)

American Law Institute, Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution: Analysis and Recommendations (2002) (Ira Ellman, Chief Reporter, with Kate Bartlett and Grace Blumberg).
KF535 .P753 2002 

A Case Study in Failed Law Reform: Arizona's Child Support Guidelines, 54 Ariz. L. Rev. 137 (2012).
K1 .R5

Ira Ellman, Sanford L. Braver, & Robert MacCoun, Abstract Principles and Concrete Cases in Intuitive Lawmaking, 36 Law & Hum. Behav. 96 (2012).
K12 .A828 

Ira Mark Ellman, Sanford Braver, and Robert J. MacCoun, Intuitive Lawmaking: the Example of Child Support, 6 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 69 (2009).
K10 .O8468

Ira Ellman and Tara Ellman, The Theory of Child Support, 45 Harv. J. on Legis 107 (2008).
K8 .A726

Research Activity: 
  • Ellman,Ira Mark*. Child maintenance: how much does the British public think the government should require non-resident parents to pay. Univeristy of Lincoln(11/1/2011 - 9/30/2014).
  • Ellman,Ira Mark*. Visiting Professor-Ira Ellman. BROOKLYN LAW SCH(7/1/2006 - 12/31/2006).
  • Ellman,Ira Mark*. VISITING PROFESSOR IRA ELLMAN. UNIV OF CA AT SAN FRANCISCO(7/1/2001 - 6/30/2002).
  • Ellman,Ira Mark*. VISITING PROFESSOR IRA ELLMAN. UNIV OF CA AT DAVIS(7/1/2000 - 5/20/2001).
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