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Deborah Ben-Canaan is a Partner in the firm and the leader of our Washington, D.C., In-House Practice Group. In her 18 years as an executive search consultant, Deb has placed more than 800 senior-level legal leaders in corporate legal departments across the U.S. and assisted her U.S. clients in making strategic placements overseas with the support of our EMEA and APAC teams.

Deb brings a passion to her searches that invokes confidence in her clients and continually leads to long-term, trusted relationships. She takes the time to truly understand her clients' needs, cultures and dynamics and acts as a guide through the hiring process, taking the guesswork and stress out of hiring. Her no nonsense approach to identifying talent results in matches that transcend the basic position description needs and dig deeper into the EQ and cultural fit of each candidate. Deb understands the ins and outs of national legal market having lived on both coasts and completed searches for organizations across the country. She maintains a deeply rooted network of legal leaders and influencers who rely on her for her insight and expertise and she nurtures many valued partnerships with CEOs and C-suite leaders who lean on her for help with legal team structuring issues and talent development solutions.

Outside the office, Deb spends her free time hanging out with her teen daughter, cheering on the Penn State Nittany Lions football team as well as the Detroit Lions and relaxing with her favorite red wine.

Prior to returning to the Washington, D.C., area in 2011 to head the In-House Practice Group, Deb spent 11 years as a recruiter and leader of our Southern California In-House Practice Group. She was instrumental in opening our San Diego office in 2001.

A subject-matter expert on the legal market, Deb regularly serves on industry panels speaking on a variety of topics, including leadership, compensation, the state of the legal market and what it takes to become a general counsel. She also regularly writes articles on these topics and has received numerous accolades for mentoring women and junior recruiters.

Deb is a former business litigator who practiced in the San Diego office of Gordon & Rees and with the well-established San Diego-based law firm, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch before entering legal recruiting.

The American University Washington College of Law: J.D., magna cum laude

Voted Best Oral Advocate on the East Coast, Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition

The Pennsylvania State University: B.S., with high distinction

General Counsel placement highlights include:

  • JBG Smith
  • WRIT
  • FTI Consulting
  • BASF (chemicals)
  • Ligado Networks
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • American Psychological Association
  • American University
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Motel 6
  • Five Below
  • NorthStar Anesthesia
  • Dyson

She has also helped to build legal teams with companies like Scripps Networks, Northrop Grumman, U.S. Steel, Danaher Corporation and HMSHost. 

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  • October 2018 – Guest speaker: “Mistakes that women make in interviews,” Women of DC
  • October 2018 – Panelist: “Career Paths for Dealmakers: A Ladder or a Jungle Gym?” Licensing Executives Society 2018 Annual Meeting
  • February 2018 – Guest Speaker: “Insider's Guide to Moving/Improving Your In-House Attorney Position” (webinar), ACC
  • September 2018 – Guest Speaker: “Skills for the 21st Century General Counsel,” Georgetown University Law School
  • May 2018 – Moderator: “A Diverse Perspective on Career Progression for GCs and Aspiring GCs,” ACC NCR Career Development Forum
  • February 2018 – Panelist: “(Wo)man the Battlestations! Success as a Woman in the Legal Field,” Vinson & Elkins
  • 2017 – Panelist: “A Glimpse at the Stats: More Women GC in the Fortune 500,” Ascent Conference
  • July 2017 – Panelist: “Get Recognized: Network Your Way to New Levels (Partnership),” She-Suite Summit
  • September 2016 – Moderator: “Tales of Profit and Loss in Human Capital: How Legal Departments Are Prioritizing Building and Retaining Their Teams,” WIPL Conference
  • January 2016 – Panelist: “Laying the Foundation to Accelerate Your Career and Develop your Resume to Get the Interview,” ACC NCR
  • June 2016 – Interviewer: An Evening Reception with Suzanne Rich Folsom, General Counsel of U.S. Steel; WILEF DC
  • June 2016 – Panelist, “What Do GCs Look for in Newly-Hired In-House Lawyers,” Georgetown Law Corporate Counsel Training Academy
  • March 2016 – Panelist: “What's Up In the Legal Market Now?” Baltimore ACC

Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), Advisory Board Member

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