Published May 25, 2006
The Atlanta Bar Association (ABA) recently recognized Sue Colussy, program director for Immigration Services of Catholic Social Services, Inc., with the 2006 Liberty Bell Award for outstanding service to the community by strengthening the American system of freedom under the law.
Colussy received the award on May 5 during the annual ABA award breakfast. The Liberty Bell Award is given to publicly recognize and honor men and women, particularly non-lawyers, for outstanding service in the following areas: promoting a better understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; encouraging greater respect for law and the courts; stimulating a deeper sense of individual responsibility so that citizens recognize their duties as well as their rights; contributing to the effective functioning of the institutions of government; and fostering a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law.
Colussy, who has served CSS for 21 years, is the 10th recipient of this prestigious award.
During her tenure at CSS, Colussy has served formally as a mentor to students from the clinical programs of Georgia’s law schools, teaching them the intricacies of immigration law. She has also been a highly valued member of the immigration bar in Atlanta, and asylum seekers and political refugees have benefited from her expertise. Family re-unifications, helpless foreign children and vulnerable individuals in need of protection are some of the examples of Colussy’s clients.
For many years she was the only provider of legal services to detained foreign juveniles, and she created a still-thriving pro bono program to assist these youngsters before the immigration courts.
She has also been the recipient of several awards, including the 2004 American Immigration Lawyer’s Association Sam Williamson Mentor Award for outstanding efforts and excellent counsel to immigration attorneys by providing mentoring assistance; the 2002 Phoenix Award from Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin for 17 years of dedicated service working for Catholic Social Services, Inc. practicing immigration law for the benefit of those most in need and the most vulnerable in the metro Atlanta communities; and the 2001 William B. Spann Award from the State Bar of Georgia for her pro bono work with low income aliens.