Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project


Joan Meier

Founder, Legal Director, Acting Executive Director

Ms. Meier is the Founder and Legal Director of DV LEAP and Professor of Clinical Law at George Washington University Law School.  She is a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence and the law, appellate litigation, and teaching in the field. Over the past 20 years she has litigated hundreds of domestic violence cases at the trial, appellate and Supreme Court levels.  While litigating and teaching she also works collaboratively on national and local domestic violence advocacy and legislative reform efforts, delivers regular trainings and presentations for lawyers, judges, advocates, and mental health professionals, and has consulted for numerous organizations including the Department of Justice and American Bar Association Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence.  At the law school, Ms. Meier has founded three pioneering inter-disciplinary domestic violence clinical programs and has received awards for her scholarship.  Ms. Meier is regularly interviewed in the media and was a featured commentator in the PBS documentary, “Breaking the Silence: Children’s Voices,” which aired in Fall 2005.  In 2009 she received the Inaugural Sharon Corbitt Award from the ABA Commission on CSDV; she has also received the Sunshine Lady Peace Award, Justice for Children’s Leadership Award, Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Award, and the Mary Byron Foundation Celebrating Solutions Award. 

Professor Meier received her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1980, her J.D. cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School in 1983, and clerked on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  


Sasha Drobnick

Managing Attorney

Sasha Drobnick is managing attorney at the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP) in Washington, D.C., where she litigates appeals, conducts trainings and provides consultations on family violence issues. Sasha formerly practiced family and domestic violence law in Maryland with a focus on low income communities and received service awards from both the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence and the Mid-Shore Pro Bono Center. In her early career, Sasha worked extensively in South Africa to promote women’s equal access to higher education. Sasha received her B.A. from Georgetown University and J.D. from New York University School of Law.