Deborah was trained as a lawyer, receiving her LL.B. from Dalhousie University and her LL.M. from the London School of Economics with a focus on marine and environmental law. She practiced law with Stewart, MacKeen and Covert from 1979 to 1985. Previously she served as the Executive Director of ECELAW for two years. Between 2003 and 2005, Deborah was the Executive Director, Special Projects and then Interim VP University Relations at NSCAD University. Currently, Deborah is the Owner and Director of a commercial art gallery, Studio 21 Fine Art in Halifax.