The 2020 Abely Awards

A Virtual Celebration of the Past 24 Years

While we will not be gathering  in person for the 24th Annual Abely Awards this year due to the impact of COVID-19, we hope you can join us virtually. We’ll present a video paying tribute to Maryellen Abely and past Abely Award recipients including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Judith S. Kaye, Loretta Lynch, and many more.

RSVP below to attend the virtual Abely Awards and receive an email reminder with event information.


For any questions regarding the event, please contact Chanel Ellis, Manager of Special Events (212) 349-6009 x366 or

The Abely Awards honor the memory of Maryellen Abely, an alumna of Columbia Law School, an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and a pro bono attorney at Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services.

Maryellen was a tireless advocate for the rights of victims of domestic abuse and one of the first pro bono attorneys at the Legal Center. After a long battle with cancer, she died in 1995. In remembering Maryellen, we celebrate the contributions of pro bono attorneys, law students, and legal assistants whose efforts enable Sanctuary to serve thousands of domestic violence victims each year.

The Abely Awards honor individuals who have made a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence and who embody Maryellen Abely’s compassion, zeal, energy and dedication.

The Abely Awards are hosted by the Legal Advisory Council.

Special thanks to the members of our Board of Directors and President’s Council.