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Nancy Palermo


1627 I Street, NW

Suite 1230

Washington, DC 20006


Whether I’m helping a candidate move from one in-house position to a new one or helping a company recruit the perfect candidate, our clients count on me to fully understand their goals, conduct thorough research and apply my insight, and counsel them through to a successful result. They trust me as a knowledgeable advisor not only because of my decades of experience, but also as one who will always be honest and direct regarding their search, while at the same time being a compassionate and genuinely warm person.


Nancy is both the head of Garrison’s in-house practice and the firm’s COO. She uses her decades of experience in legal recruiting to help companies enhance their in-house legal capabilities by adding one or more attorneys to fill general counsel and/or associate general counsel other attorney positions in various practice disciplines. She does this in two ways: counseling candidates coming from law firms who wish to transition to in-house practice and advising those currently in-house on opportunities to achieve their career objectives with a new company. In both cases, the goal is to match candidates with companies and available positions she knows will be a great fit all around.

Prior to becoming a legal recruiter, Nancy was corporate counsel to an environmental services company in Maryland. She also gained private practice experience as a litigation associate with a Maryland law firm. Nancy received her J.D. from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law in 1997. She was appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2007 and serves as Chairperson of the Board’s Career and Professional Development Committee. She received her B.A. from the University of Richmond in 1989 and has five years of prior business experience in marketing and sales for two consumer product companies in New York.

Working with candidates

Nancy first gets to know candidates’ objectives and personal and professional motivations. The better she understands these, the more efficient, refined and effective her searches and counseling can be. With this knowledge as the foundation of Nancy’s work with lawyers seeking a transition, she identifies the types of positions that would be most appropriate and informs them of the opportunities that fit. Nancy’s experience and instincts are key in counseling the candidate on his/her best options and matching them with the positions she’s seeking to fill. From there, Nancy works side-by side with the candidate, from the resume and interview rehearsal through an offer negotiation. Nancy often hears from candidates that she is the most professional and comprehensive recruiter they’ve worked with. She doesn’t sugar-coat - she is always honest and gets results.

Working with employers

Focused largely in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) region, and with a reputation for excellence and success second to none, Garrison has assisted more than 100 companies with candidate searches, and Nancy has been the recruiter for most of them. Today, largely because of her DMV focus, many of her searches are for attorneys with specific government contracting and technology transactions experience, so she has developed a particular expertise in those areas. Nancy’s success placing in-house attorneys plus the broad and detailed subject matter with which she is familiar, have positioned her to expertly handle in-house searches that call for lawyers with varying and specific practice focuses. In her COO role, Nancy helps determine and implement Garrison’s business strategies and manages its day-to-day operations. She provides leadership, management and vision to help Garrison grow and ensure its financial strength and operating efficiency.



Across two decades of legal recruiting, Nancy has successfully filled a wide range of in-house legal positions, including, among many others, the following:

  • Deputy general counsel at a leading, Maryland-based biotech company with a technology partner from a Florida-based firm (remote)

  • Associate general counsel, government contracts position at a global leader in federal sector management, technology and security consulting services with a senior corporate counsel from a non-profit, management consulting firm

  • Associate general counsel position at a national real estate finance and development fund based in suburban Virginia with a mid-level real estate finance associate from an AmLaw 30 firm

  • Associate general counsel, corporate and securities position at a high-growth, Mid-Atlantic-based regional bank with a counsel from the Raleigh office of an AmLaw 100 firm (remote)

  • Associate general counsel, privacy position at a leading, online educational technology company with a counsel at an education research, technology and consulting firm

  • Associate general counsel, M&A position at a DC-based, pre-IPO software, data and media company with a senior counsel at a multinational specialty biopharmaceutical company

  • Vice president and associate general counsel, commercial transactions position at a leading, DC-based self-regulatory organization for brokerage firms and exchange markets with a corporate counsel at a global, mission-driven trade association

  • Senior director and assistant general counsel, government contracts position at a global Leader in cloud infrastructure technology with a deputy associate solicitor at the Department of Labor

  • Vice president and assistant general counsel position at a DC-based solar energy finance, trading and development company with a counsel in an AmLaw 30 firm with a leading project finance practice

  • Investigations counsel position at a premier global government contractor with an assistant United States attorney (AUSA) who had prior tenure at an AmLaw 50 firm

  • Senior vice president and associate general counsel position at a Virginia-based, publicly traded asset management and real estate development company with a counsel at a D.C.-based, privately held real estate development and property management company

  • Corporate counsel position at a leading, global defense contractor with a senior attorney, procurement law at the Government Accountability Office

  • Labor and employment counsel position at a rapidly expanding, global government contracts services company with a Paris-based labor and employment attorney at a leading airline carrier

  • Chief privacy officer position at a leading online educational technology company with the chief privacy officer at the Federal Trade Commission

  • Associate general counsel position at a regional infrastructure and development company with a senior associate at an AmLaw 20 firm

  • Senior counsel, commercial transactions position at a Maryland-based, pre-IPO software company with a mid-level corporate M&A associate at an AmLaw 50 firm

  • Associate general counsel, government contracts position at a global leader in federal sector management, technology and security consulting services with a principal and associate general counsel at a leading provider of information technology and consulting services to commercial and governmental entities

  • Associate general counsel, disputes and litigation position at a Virginia-based consumer oriented technology company with a senior associate at a nationally recognized media law boutique firm

  • Tax counsel position at a global trade association for regulated funds with a senior tax associate at a global firm

  • General counsel for a privately owned real estate investment, advisory and management company with a counsel at a national firm with a premier real estate practice


“Nancy provides the specialized type of service that makes me feel like I am her most important client. Her meticulous work when developing each search we've done has paid off in the quality of candidates netted and, ultimately, in the quality of attorneys we've hired. She has also made herself readily available to help me work through how to think about different positions before we even committed to running a search.”
Todd Glassman, General Counsel, 2U, Inc.


“I have worked with Nancy Palermo and Garrison over the last 10 years, starting with my own placement as general counsel. I have found her/them without fail to be the best recruiter/recruiting agency that I’ve worked with over the years, and they have successfully placed candidates who have not only the right skill set, but the right cultural fit for the organization.”
General Counsel, North America, leading transportation management and development company

“We have used Garrison for our recruitment on an exclusive basis for years. Nancy takes the time to understand the position and thoroughly vet candidates so that only the highest qualified make the interview process. Her unique ability to match the right candidate to our corporate culture has proved invaluable.”
Jubal Thompson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Comstock Holding Companies, Inc.

“I greatly appreciated Nancy’s guidance and partnership during my search for a senior level attorney. The candidates were top-notch, and Nancy took pains to accommodate all of my requests and those of my Human Resources group. Best of all, thanks to her, I got a great hire.”
Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, financial services industry leader

“Working with Nancy and the Garrison team was a pleasure. Job searching alone is a tremendously difficult and stressful task, but then, once the searching is done, interviewing begins. Interviews are also stressful and anxiety inducing, but Nancy and her team made the entire process so much easier. Not only did the team provide me helpful information and interview preparation, they also provided me with emotional support to alleviate my stress and boost confidence. Nancy genuinely takes an interest in you and listens. Nancy and her team guide you through the entire process and also follows up with you after you’ve secured the position."
Associate Counsel, global enterprise technology company


  • “Staying Connected and Advancing in your Organization in a Remote Work Environment,” moderator, ACC NCR Career Development Program, May 11, 2022

  • “What’s Age Got to Do with It?,” moderator, ACC NCR Career Development Program, June 24, 2021

  • “Shifts & Transitions in Legal Careers,” moderator, Catholic University, Columbus School of Law presentation, January 28, 2021

  •  “Overview of Washington, DC Legal Market & Changes in Light of Covid-19,” co-presenter, Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, August 12, 2020

  •  “Amazing Women Who Lead,” moderator, ACC NCR Career Development Program, June 25, 2020

  •  “Strategies to Increase Your Visibility and Raise Your Profile Inside Your Company and Beyond,” moderator, ACC NCR Career Development Program, December 4, 2019

  •  “Behind the Scenes with In-House Antitrust counsel,” moderator, Women’s Antitrust Forum Program, December 13, 2018

  •  “Overview of Washington, DC Legal Market,” co-presenter, Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, September 15, 2018

  •  “Current State of the Legal Hiring Market and Compensation Trends,” panelist, ACC Baltimore Program, February 27, 2018


When not deep into a candidate search, in my free time I find it important to give back to the educational institutions that have had an important impact on my life and my children’s lives by volunteering, serving on their boards and committees, etc. I’m very involved with The Catholic University Columbus School of Law, Georgetown Preparatory School, University of Richmond, and St. Bartholomew Catholic School.  

On the home front, we’re always engaged in an enhancement or remodeling project, and honestly, I’m a great designer – I just have a knack for it and love doing it. I play golf and am active with my country club, and I entertain at home every chance I get – being a wine enthusiast helps with that. My favorite place in the world – where I go with my family every year to recharge – is Nantucket, MA. The island is simply magic for me. I have a husband, three wonderful children and an English Bulldog named Beauregard. TV and movies? It's got to be either a crime drama or a fantasy – my two favorite genres.

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