Raymond Partolan is not your typical paralegal.
The 25-year-old works for Kuck Baxter Immigration, the firm handling the high profile deportation case of 21 Savage.
He graduated summa cum laude Mercer University, as a full scholarship student.
He’s an advocate that’s been consulting lawmakers and other groups in issues affecting the Asian American community. He’s also a musician and a Grammy winner.
The Filipino from Georgia is doing this all while he’s on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“For about 15 years, over half of my lifetime, I lived here in the United States without any kind of lawful status. It was until the age of 19 in 2012 when the DACA program began to give me some semblance of safety and security in the country. When I was 10 and became undocumented I really didn’t understand what it meant to be undocumented.
Partolan was one of the voices on the John Daversa Big Band’s American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom album, the winner of this year’s best large jazz ensemble, which tells the story of DACA recipients.
“With the kind of attention that this album has gotten people across the country are going to being to see an understand the kinds of struggles we as undocumented people have to face on a daily basis. This album really has the potential to move people to action.
He delivered a speech, as Dreamers were honored at the Hubert H. Humphrey civil and human rights dinner last year.
Despite a life of success, the stress being undocumented drove him to contemplate suicide.
The same week he won the Grammy, news broke that the United Kingdom-born rapper 21 Savage was in the county illegally.
Partolan has been aiding in finding relief for the hip hop star — a story that hits close to home for him and his fellow musicians.
And as that case plays out, he’s also looking to chase his next dream of being a full-fledged lawyer, a tall task for a dreamer in his region.
“Even though our communities are very hostile in many places in our state I think there is a wonderfully vibrant advocacy community here a lot of undocumented people in our community have come together and have started to realize the kind of power that we have especially when we begin to share our stories.”
Georgia is one of the many states that does not allow non-residents to practice law, but Partolan has faced the tough odds before, and even at the worst of times, his dreams have always stayed alive.