21st Annual Abely Awards

Recognizing advocates.


Thank you for attending the 2016 Abely Awards Ceremony.

View photos from the 2016 Abely Awards.

About the Abely Awards

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 Award for Leading Women and Children to Safety:

Hon. Robert A. Katzmann
Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


Hon. Janet DiFiore
Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, State of New York

The Abely Pro Bono Achievement Award:

Sharon Katz
Special Counsel for Pro Bono
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

The 2016 Maryellen Abely Fellowship:

Christina Zhang
Second-Year Student
Columbia School of Law

The Abely Awards are hosted by the Legal Advisory Council.

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