The 2022 Abely Awards

A Celebration of the Past 25 Years

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM


For any questions regarding the event, please contact Geny Kimbrell, Senior Manager of Special Events, at (212) 349-6009 x1366 or

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, CBWLS*
Sanctuary for Families

Linda Lopez
Deputy Director, CBWLS
Sanctuary for Families

*formerly known as the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services

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.