The Xemplar®


As leaders in every aspect of law and practice management, independent attorneys have an untapped wealth of knowledge, wisdom and advice. The Xemplar® shines the spotlight on these incredible people and their achievements and contributions - whether it’s fighting for the underdog, making a positive impact in our communities, or doing their job extremely well. It is a place that celebrates the power of the individual, reaffirms our passions and inspire us all through their stories.

Every month a new “Xemplar” is nominated and has their story featured here, along with related articles and discussions lead by a who’s who of industry peers.

LexisNexis® is a proud sponsor of the site and is committed to the site’s editorial independence.

Attorneys featured on this site are selected by our advisory board:

Bob Ambrogi is a lawyer and longtime legal journalist based in Rockport, Mass. The former editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal, Lawyers USA and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, he now concentrates in media and new media law. Bob is also known for his writing and speaking about the Internet and legal technology. He is author of two books about the Internet for lawyers, has written a nationally syndicated column since 1993, has written the award-winning Web Watch column in Law Technology News since 1999, and founded the first Internet newsletter for lawyers in 1994. He continues to track new and intriguing Web sites for legal professionals through his blog LawSites. Since August 2005, he has co-hosted the award-winning podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer, available through the Legal Talk Network. In addition to practicing law, Bob provides media and new media consulting to law firms and law-related companies. A 1980 graduate of Boston College Law School, he is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and a fellow and trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

Nicole Black is of counsel to Fiandach and Fiandach, in Rochester, New York. She is also the founder of, a company that educates lawyers regarding technology issues and provides legal technology consulting services. She co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise, co-authors Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, an American Bar Association publication, and is currently working on a book about cloud computing for lawyers that will be published by the American Bar Association in the spring of 2011. She also writes a weekly column for the Daily Record focusing on a variety of topics, including constitutional and criminal law issues and law and technology issues ranging from the use of social media for marketing and networking to using emerging technologies in the law office. She frequently speaks at law firms, conferences, bar associations and law schools regarding the intersection of law, technology and social media. She publishes a number of legal blogs, including “Sui Generis”, “The Legal iPad”, and “Legal Antics”.

Rodney S. Dowell, Esq. is the Director of the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP). He is a frequent lecturer on law practice management issues, including presentations on law office technology, starting a new law office, improving client selection, terminating client relationships, law office finance, data security, and time management. In the last year, he has had the honor of making presentations at the ABA’s TECHSHOW, The Solo and Small Firm Conference for The Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Solo and Small Firm Conference for North Carolina Bar Association. In addition, he has made many presentations for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and the Massachusetts Bar Association, and other bar associations within Massachusetts. He has authored articles for ABA’s Law Practice Magazine, the ABA LPM’s e-zine, Law Practice Today, the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, and, on occasion writes for the Mass.LOMAP blog, Law Practice Advisor. Rodney has been honored to participate as a council member of the in the American Bar Associations’ Law Practice Management Section, where he is an editor of the Law Practice magazine. Prior to starting LOMAP, he was a founding partner at the litigation firm of Berman & Dowell, 1998 – 2007, where he focused on employment law, tort defense, including attorney malpractice, and insurance coverage. Since graduating from Cornell Law School in 1989, he has been a civil litigator in both Massachusetts and Colorado. His undergraduate degree is from his home state’s flagship university, the University of Colorado, Boulder (1985).

Carolyn Elefant started her own law firm in 1993, because as she likes to tell it, a big law firm wasn’t big enough. She made partner before the age of thirty, became a business owner long before the dotcom boom of the late ’90s made entrepreneurship at once desirable and virtually mainstream. She was one of the first law firms to recognize and harness the power of the Internet: her firm has had an email account since 1994 and with the upload of a law firm website (which she hand-coded herself) in 1995, she joined the the first generation of law firms on-line and in 2002, was part of the first generation of lawyer-bloggers. In addition to her blog, MyShingle, she has published Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be and in 2010, co-authored a book with Nicole Black, Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier. She’s a frequent speaker at bar conferences and law firm events on social and small firm practice trends, the ethics of social media, the nuts and bolts of 21st century solo practice and the future of law. Before starting her law firm, Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, in November 1993, she worked for several large or national law firms and a federal government agency. She continued with energy regulatory work, but also took on court appointed criminal cases, employment cases (public and private sector), Section 1983 civil rights cases and commercial and civil litigation.

Gina Madsen is proud to be one of the few native Las Vegans left and still call Las Vegas home. She’s also proud to call herself a Rebel, having graduated magna cum laude from the UNLV Honors College with a B.S.B.A. in marketing and minor in business law in 2001. In 2007, she was one of the first students to earn a dual law degree/MBA from the William S. Boyd School of Law and College of Business at UNLV. In 2005, she started a marketing company and couldn’t find a lawyer that was willing or able to help a start-up like her. After hearing similar stories from other entrepreneurs, she decided she would dedicate her practice to serving small businesses. With her education and real-world experience, she provides her clients with business-minded legal advice that addresses all facets of business ownership. When she’s not working, she loves to cook and spend time with her husband, Nick, and their four-legged children. As a passionate animal lover, she has rescued several homeless animals, reunited numerous stray dogs with their owners, and she provides ongoing support to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Madsen is a member of the State Bar of Nevada, and the American Bar Association including the Young Lawyers Section, Solo and Small Firm Division, and Business Law Division. She is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada and all Nevada state courts.