The 2022 Abely Awards

A Celebration of the Past 25 Years

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM


We’re sorry, the deadline for online registration for this event has passed. If you would like to attend this event, please contact Geny Kimbrell, Senior Manager of Special Events, at (212) 349-6009 x1366 or

Please click here for information about our COVID-19 protocols.

Established 25 years ago by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Sanctuary for Families, and Columbia Law School, the Abely Awards honor individuals who have made a difference in the lives of survivors of gender violence and who embody Maryellen Abely’s compassion, zeal, energy, and dedication.


Dorchen A. Leidholdt
Director, Legal Center
Sanctuary for Families

Linda Lopez
Deputy Director, Legal Center
Sanctuary for Families

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’ Legal Center.

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 are hosted by Davis Polk, Columbia Law School, and Sanctuary for Families.

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

Please note our COVID-19 protocols below:

  1. All personnel and visitors entering the building are required to be fully vaccinated. Visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a vaccination card (original or two-sided photo or copy) or proof via the NY Excelsior app (or an equivalent app).
  2. We ask that you refrain from coming to our offices if you
    1. Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days and are still required to remain in isolation under applicable CDC guidance; or
    2. Are experiencing a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, fever, chills, shortness of breath or any other symptom of COVID-19.
  3. Additionally, any personnel or visitor who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days (but who is permitted to exit isolation consistent with applicable CDC guidance) or who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 5 days must wear a face covering at all times.