Ellen Farwell

Photo of Ellen Farwell
Ellen FarwellAssociate Professor of Law

Contact Information

401-254-4501efarwell@rwu.eduCurriculum Vitae


J.D., Boston College Law School
B.A., Columbia College

Professor Ellen Farwell joined Roger Williams University School of Law faculty in 2023 after teaching at New England Law | Boston, Northeastern University School of Law and Brandeis University.  She previously served as Associate General Counsel at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Professor Farwell represented the hospital in the negotiation of regional and international healthcare collaborations, advised on executive compensation, employee benefits, and the organization's nonprofit, tax-exempt status. In addition, she served as counsel to the Ethics Advisory Committee and the Compensation and Conflicts of Interest committees of the Board of Trustees. Before working in-house, Professor Farwell gained experience as a tax associate at Nutter, McClennen & Fish and an intern at the US Department of Commerce. Her work experience has inspired her to explore the ways in which federal tax impacts the accomplishment of charitable goals, and the intersection of corporate fiduciary duties and efforts to increase governing board diversity. 


Time to Flip the Tables: Board Diversity and the Fiduciary Duties of Non-Profit Directors (Forthcoming in Temple Law Review)

A Real Seat at the Table: Identity Capitalism and State Law Efforts to Diversify Corporate Boards, 56 New Eng. L. Rev. 141 (2022)

Fulfilling the Promise?: When Humanitarian Obligations and Foreign Policy Goals Conflict in the United States, Book Review, 27 B.C. Third World L.J. 477 (2007) 

Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.