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Ira Ellman


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

Ira Ellman’s current scholarly projects include an empirical investigation into how people make judgments about appropriate legal rules, and he has recently been awarded a large grant from an English foundation to extend that work to the United Kingdom. He is an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Child and Youth Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Professor Ellman was Chief Reporter for the American Law Institute's 10-year study, Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution, and is senior author of a leading text on family law. Before joining the College faculty, he served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a legislative aide to Sen. Adlai Stevenson III, and a consultant to the California legislature. He recently returned from a semester as a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He has previously visited at Hastings College of Law, Brooklyn Law School, the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, the Earl Warren Institute, and the Center for the Study of Law and Society, at U.C. Berkeley. Professor Ellman has 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.


B.A., Reed College (1967)

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

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


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).
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
LAW 791Seminar
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
LAW 612Family Law
Expertise Areas