Ellen E. Sward

Professor Emeritus of Law
Primary office:
309A Green Hall


A graduate of Harvard University Law School, Ellen Sward joined the KU Law faculty in 1984 after private practice in Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C. Her focus for teaching and research has been on civil procedure and particularly the civil jury. She is author of "The Decline of the Civil Jury," published by Carolina Academic Press in 2001. A highly respected teacher, Sward has been active in curriculum planning and reform. She was named a Dean James Green Fellow, 1996-1999, in recognition of her service to the law school. In 2018, Sward received the Immel Award for Teaching Excellence. Sward retired in May 2020.

Courses Taught:
  • Civil Procedure
  • Federal Courts
  • Jurisdiction


J.D., Harvard, 1979, Case Editor, Harvard Law Review; B.A., Cincinnati, 1970


Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Jurisdiction


Wisconsin 1979; D.C. 1981.

Career History

Associate, Michael, Best & Friedrich, Madison, Wis., 1979-81; Associate, Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn, Washington, D.C., 1981-84; Associate Professor, University of Kansas, 1984-89; Professor, 1989-present; Associate Dean for Research, 2004-2006.


The civil justice system, the civil jury, federal courts, civil procedure

Selected Publications

  • "Justification and Doctrinal Evolution," 37 Connecticut Law Review 389 (2005)
  • "The Seventh Amendment and the Alchemy of Fact and Law," 33 Seton Hall Law Review 573 (2003)
  • "A History of the Civil Trial in the United States," 51 Kansas Law Review 347 (2003)
  • The Decline of the Civil Jury (Carolina Academic Press) (2001)
  • "Legislative Courts, Article III, and the Seventh Amendment," 77 North Carolina Law Review 1037 (1999)
  • "Appellate Review of Judicial Fact-Finding," 40 Kansas Law Review 1 (1991)
  • "Values, Ideology, and the Evolution of the Adversary System," 64 Indiana Law Journal 301 (1989)