Last week, members of New York’s legal, civic and anti-gender violence communities gathered to honor United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Judge Pamela K. Chen and Jennifer L. Kroman, Director of Pro Bono Services at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, at the Nineteenth Annual Abely Awards.
Co-hosted with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Columbia Law School, The Abely Awards recognize individuals who make a difference in the lives of domestic violence and sex trafficking survivors.
This year’s honorees have each used their distinguished legal backgrounds to provide survivors of sex trafficking with opportunities to live their lives free from violence and control.
We were grateful to be joined by The Honorable Judith S. Kaye, retired New York judge and the first woman to occupy the State Judiciary’s highest office, who with Legal Director Dorchen Leidholdt presented the awards.
While US Attorney General Loretta Lynch could not attend the event, she accepted her award by video, recounting her experiences working with Sanctuary to prosecute traffickers during her time as US Attorney for the Easter District of New York. Watch her full video thanks:
We were also proud to honor Judge Pamela K. Chen, a federal district court judge in the Eastern District of New York, and a true pioneer in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes.
We also honored Jennifer L. Kroman, Director of Pro Bono Practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, and a longtime Sanctuary supporter and Board Member. Jennifer leads Cleary’s award-winning pro bono practice and maintains an active docket representing survivors of sex trafficking in vacatur cases.
Since 1997, the Abely Awards have celebrated the life and legacy of Maryellen Abely, a pro bono attorney at Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services.
An alumna of Columbia Law School, and an associate at Davis Polk, Ms. Abely was a tireless advocate for the rights of victims of domestic abuse and one of Sanctuary’s first pro bono attorneys. She died in 1995 after a long battle with cancer.