AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

AILA Presents Crystal Williams with the 2017 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award

6/19/17 AILA Doc. No. 17061914.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will recognize Crystal Williams of Morrisville, NC, with the 2017 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding service, over a period of years, in advancing the mission, development, and value of AILA for its members and the public it serves. She will receive the award this week during AILA's Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Ms. Williams served on the AILA staff for fifteen years, including a stint as Director of Liaison and Information, Deputy Director for Programs and as Executive Director for nearly six years. During her tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Williams oversaw more than 25% growth in the AILA membership and led AILA through challenges, such as SB1070, and advancements, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

Ms. Williams started in the field of immigration law as an editor and manager of publications for Washington Service Bureau and Federal Publications. Both have since been absorbed multiple times by other companies, and currently are owned by Wolters Kluwer and West Publishing, respectively. She then served as Director of the Legalization Assistance/Appeals Project for the then-American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF), now known as the American Immigration Council.

She then went to Atlanta, where she spent the next decade practicing immigration law with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker, during which time she continued to volunteer for AILA in a number of different capacities. She also had a stint with the Policy and Planning Office of the then-U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, leaving prior to its absorption into the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Having retired from AILA in 2015, she has moved to North Carolina and has been splitting her time between traveling the world and working on the new edition of AILA's Business Immigration Law and Practice book.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.