After nearly 25 years of living in the United States, Patrick He serves as a senior paralegal for Antonini & Cohen, assisting the lawyers, coaching clients, and mentoring newer coworkers.
Patrick grew up in Shanghai, China, where he studied medicine and started off his professional career at a hospital. After a transition to government work, translating, and interpreting, Patrick landed at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai. There, he worked at Consular Section and later was promoted to American Citizen Services Section helping U.S. citizens who were working abroad with any issues they encountered.
In 1990, Patrick moved to Atlanta. He quickly realized his background at the consulate, along with his own experience as a recent immigrant, gave him a unique perspective in the field of immigration law. “We’re all immigrants or from immigrant families,” he says. “We can never forget that. We all have our own experiences.” When Patrick spotted an ad in the newspaper for a position at Marshall Cohen’s firm, he applied and soon went to work.
When Patrick He first joined the firm, it was called Cohen and Associates and it was just a small firm—a few people wearing multiple hats. Patrick did everything from answering the phones to filing paperwork. “The office today is much larger,” Patrick says. “I can focus on providing personalized help to all of our clients.”
Patrick spends a lot of his time listening—getting to know everyone he works with and helping coach and educate them on the immigration process. “My satisfaction comes from seeing successful outcomes,” he says. “Some clients we can help quickly; others take years. They’re equally important to me.”
When he’s not at the Antonini & Cohen offices, Patrick likes to be with friends and family. “There’s better food at our houses than any Atlanta restaurant,” he says. “If I really want good Chinese food at a restaurant, I have to go to New York or Los Angeles.” An avid exerciser, Patrick also likes to unwind with some friendly competition. If he ever challenges you to a game of ping pong, think twice. As a kid, he played wherever he could find space, even if that meant using the top of a stool as a table.