When Nancy Palermo was halfway through her candidate interview at Garrison & Sisson for an in-house position, founding partner Charlie Garrison realized Nancy was different than most candidates he interviewed. Aside from her legal skills, her pre-law school marketing and sales experience resonated with him, as did her authenticity and insight. During that same meeting, Nancy found herself entertaining a potential job offer—as a recruiter. In 1999, she joined the firm; seven years later, she became Managing Partner.
Nancy devotes much of her time to recruiting top-level talent for corporate legal departments in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. With a loyal following from employers and candidates alike, Nancy earned her reputation as one of DC’s premier in-house recruiters by offering strategic career guidance, comprehensive market knowledge, and measured counsel to her clients. As a former English major and marketing professional, she’ll happily assist a candidate perfect his or her resume and other written materials, as well as craft their story. In addition to her in-house practice, Nancy also recruits partner candidates for AmLaw 200 firms and specialty boutique firms. She excels at the delicate process of in-house and lateral partner placements, which requires a sense for personal nuance and intuition. Nancy takes great pride in being an excellent listener and able to quickly and effectively assess the priorities of her candidates and clients, thereby making the right placement for both sides.
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. Prior to joining G&S, she 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 regularly participates in panel presentations to bar association groups, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and law school audiences on effective interviewing techniques and resume drafting, current legal market and compensation trends, and job search strategies for transitioning in-house. As Managing Partner of G&S, Nancy is proud of the recruiting team she has helped build, the collegial culture of the firm, and the prestige G&S has earned, being named the Best Legal Search Firm in the DC area from 2011-2017 by the Legal Times/American Lawyer. “I love people, and I love what I do,” she says, adding, “It’s unbelievably rewarding to help attorneys find a great opportunity, transform an unhappy situation, and make a significant impact on their lives.”
- Moderator, In-House Counsel Career Panel Presentation for Students at Catholic University, Columbus School of Law – Nancy Palermo moderated a panel presentation with three other Catholic Law alumni: Karen Grubber (Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Host Hotels & Resorts), Ben Roca (General Counsel, National Electronics Museum, a non-profit subsidiary of Northrop Grumman's Electronics System Sector), and Scott Stiefel (General Counsel, DrFirst). Panelists provided an overview of their career track beginning with how they obtained their first in-house position, discussed briefly their area(s) of expertise, and walked students through a typical day as an in-house lawyer. (Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, September 26, 2013)
- Presenter, Federal Bar Association, Women in Tax Law Section, Networking Reception -- Nancy Palermo and Barb Steele shared their thoughts on current hiring trends for tax attorneys, the right time to make a career change, LinkedIn as a useful job search tool, the value of using a legal recruiter and suggestions on resumes, cover letters, etc. (University Club, August 1, 2013)
- Panelist, WMACCA Job Search Symposium, “How to get ahead: knowing when and if another job is right for you” --- Nancy Palermo and Martha Ann Sisson discussed the following topics with in-house counsel and shared suggestions for evaluating positions: What is your desired role within an organization? If you’re not in it, what can you do to position yourself to get there? Do you have the necessary experience (i.e. management of other attorneys, affiliation within a certain industry, etc.) to position you for the next step? When is a “lateral move” not a lateral move? (Gannett Co., Inc., March 27, 2013)
- Presenter, “What You Need To Know In Order To Get An Edge During Fall Recruiting Interviews” — Nancy Palermo advised students participating in on-campus recruiting on effective interviewing skills (how to prepare for the interview, requisite questions to ask, how to handle difficult questions, and appropriate interview follow-up). She also shared the Top 20 Takeaways regarding the DC legal market. (Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, August 23, 2012)
- Panelist, “What You Need To Know In Order To Get An Edge During Fall Recruiting Interviews” — Nancy Palermo and Dan Binstock led a seminar with GWU Law students giving tips for on–campus interviews, from pre–interview preparation to post-interview etiquette, the students received advice on the full cycle for their upcoming interviews with potential employers. (George Washington University Law School, August 14, 2012)
- Panelist, “Washington, DC Legal Market and How To Put Your Best Foot Forward In This Economy” — Nancy Palermo and Matt Schwartz advised GMU Law students on the current state of the DC legal market and how to put your best foot forward in this economy and excel during on-campus recruiting.Presentation also covered how to cast the best net for your job search, strategies for researching law firms and getting the “inside scoop” on what’s really going on, and how to avoid common pitfalls in an interview. (George Mason Law School, August 8, 2012)
- Presenter, “The In-House Job Market and Compensation Trends” — (Association of Corporate Counsel (Baltimore Chapter), Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, March 12, 2009)
- Panelist, “How To Get An In-House Counsel Job” — (Asian Pacific American Bar Association (DC Chapter), The Edison Electric Institute, March 11, 2009)
- Panelist, “Searching For A Legal Position In Challenging Economic Times - Current Market Trends and Ways To Distinguish Yourself” - (Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, January 29, 2009)