Carolyn Elefant

Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
Contact: 202.297.6100
Law School: Cornell Law School
Jurisdictions: District of Columbia
New York


About Carolyn Elefant
I am a highly skilled, well trained and respected lawyer with multiple talents in a variety of disciplines I bring passion, analytical skill and persistence to any undertaking, be it a long shot legal case (where I have a proven track record), a new area of law (such as marine renewables where I am a driving innovator), getting civil penalties vacated or money refunded for energy clients or adapting new technology/trends I use my unique combination of talents on behalf of, or within, corporations, law firms, renewable energy companies, or others who seek excellent service, top notch work and creative problem solving I also seek speaking engagements and offer turnkey programs on a variety of cutting edge topics.
Career highlights include:
*Practicing energy regulatory law since 1988, including all aspects of electric utility regulation before FERC and state PUCs Law firm recognized in ABA Bar Journal and Washington Legal Times
*obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds or penalty rebates for energy companies
*lnternationally recognized legal/policy expert on offshore renewables,
*founder of Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (now 40 members); significant experience in permitting offshore renewables and hydro. identifying funding sources and resolving regulatory uncertainty
*Litigation experience at admin hearings and courts First chaired admin. hearings five jury trials, discovery and motions practice in complex federal cases. Appellate practice includes over thirty appellate matters.
*Finding money so that clients can pursue claims or build projects
*Creator of ABA Topl00 Blawg, (2002), longest running blog on solo and small firm practice, and respected commentator.
*Author of Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be (December 2002)
*Co-contributor American Law Media, Legal
Practice Areas
  • Appeals & Appellate
Additional Practice Areas
  • Administrative litigation (FERC, state PUCs, EEOC, MSPB)
  • Energy; Utilities
  • In-house counsel service to renewable and new energy tech companies
  • Litigation
  • Litigation in state and federal district and appellate courts (discovery, motions, briefs, oral argument, jury trials)
  • PPA drafting and review
  • Stakeholder mediation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
New York
Professional Experience
Counsel, Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
I co-founded the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition with Sean O'Neill in April 2005. Since then, the organization, with a mission of advancing and commercializing wave, tidal, hydrokinetic, OTEC and offshore wind in the United States has grown from 5 members to 40. Under my leadership, and with my coordination, the group has filed over 1000 pages of comments and testimony before Congressional committees and regulatory agencies such as MMS, FERC, NOAA and state public utility commissions.
Author/Consultant, Carolyn Elefant/ My Shingle
n December 2002, I created, the first blog dedicated to serving solo and small firm lawyers and those who yearn to start a practice. During that time, through my blog and consultancy, I have advised dozens of lawyers -- both solo and at law firms - on starting a firm or building a robust practice within a law firm. In January 2008, my book, Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be issued, where I discuss solo practice as a viable option either for a career, or to transition to other professional opportunities. Packed full of practical information and marketing advice, the book provides a roadmap for using 21st century technologies to build a practice, and has received acclaim from groups as diverse as new solos, bar practice management experts and large firm marketers.
Owner and Counsel, The Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant
I own the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, an independent law firm in Washington DC, specializing in electric utility/energy regulation, compliance issues, natural resources, renewable energy development, with emphasis on offshore renewables, wind and hydro. I also handle general litigation and appellate practice, with specific experience in employment law, Section 1983 litigation, criminal defense and contracts. My firm operates the weblog, and
of Counsel, Law Offices of Scott Hempling
Served as of counsel in prestigious energy practice with five attorneys. Supervised junior lawyers and paralegals and collaborated with senior lawyers, who included former state commissioners and other prominent industry members. Advised and represented clients in energy regulatory matters before FERC, including restructuring, RTO formation, mergers, cross-subsidization and affiliate issues, competitive bidding, distributed generation and standard PPAs, interconnection, transmission siting and post-EPAct 2005 changes to the FPA.
Adjunct Faculty, University of Maryland University College
Served as adjunct professor of contract law in UMUC's esteemed paralegal program. Designed curriculum, taught several hundred students through a mixture of theory and hands on practical assignments.
Associate Attorney, Duncan and Allen
Energy associate at Duncan & Allen, handled energy contract related arbitration, FERC hearings and all aspects of utility regulation, with focus on municipalities and coop systems.
Cornell Law SchoolJ.D
Activities: Moot Court Board Editor
Brandeis UniversityB.A
Honors: magna cum laude
Professional Activities
Law Practice Management Steering Committee DC Bar 2006-2008
of Counsel Ocean Renewable Energy Association 2005-2008
Featured on the Cover of Washington Legal Times, Washington Legal Times- ALM Publications
ABA Top 100 Law Blawg, American Bar Association
Featured in Maryland Daily Record, Marlyland Daily Record
Ocean Energy Pioneer Award, Energy Oceans Conference
Featured in ABA Journal on small law practice, American Bar Association
Featured on cover of Washington Legal Times, Washington Legal Times- ALM Publications
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Volunteer Award, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Professional Associations
Member, District of Columbia Bar
Member, New York State Bar
Member, Energy Bar Association


Articles & Publications
  • A Snapshot of Marine Renewable Energy Regulation in the United States
    Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference
  • Federal and State Benefits and Subsidies for Marine Renewable and Hydrokinetic Technlogies
    Hydrovision National Conference
  • How to Start A Business Networking Group to Build Referrals, Relationships and Reputation
    Los Angeles Solo and Small Firm Conference
  • How to start a law firm; webinar
    From Biglaw to Yourlaw: Starting A Law Firm
  • Technology to Retain Clients, Technology for Start Up Firms
    ABA Tech Show 2008
  • Update on Marine Renewables Siting and Permitting
    Ocean Energy Update
  • The Third Wave: Marine Renewable Energy Development in the United States
    Alterative Energy Symposium
  • Oceans Apart? Is National Ocean Energy Policy Consistent With Oregon's Goals?
    Ocean Energy in Oregon
  • Obstacles to Marine Energy Development in the United States
    Capitol Hill Briefing on Marine Renewables
  • What Offshore Wind Developers Can Learn from the Hydroelectric Industry
    American Wind Energy Association National Conference
  • National energy policy and offshore wind
    Offshore Wind Consortium
  • Wave Energy Development in the United States and Regulatory Uncertainty
    Ocean Energy Overview
  • Why Lawyers Should Blog
    What Lawyers Can Learn About Blogging
  • Don't Copy That Brief (can legal briefs be copyrighted?)
    Legal Times Intellectual Property Magazine
  • How Much Privacy Do Litigants Deserve in E-Filing
    Washington Legal Times
  • Saved by the Web: How I Researched A Brief Online for Free
    Washington Legal Times
  • Energy resources on the web
    Energy Resources on the World Wide Web
  • Ocean Energy Development in the 1990s
    Energy Law Journal
  • Can Law Firms Do Pro Bono: A Skeptical View
    Alabama Journal of the Legal Profession
  • When Helping Others Is A Crime: 18 USC 205's Restrictions on Federal Attorneys Seeking to Do Pro Bono
    Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics


Website: Website



1629 K Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: 202.297.6100
Telephone: 202.297.6100
Fax: 305.675.8075