Nathan Cox’s time at UCLA School of Law included the launch of a technology company, work with leading professors in tax law and honors as part of UCLA Law’s moot court and mock trial programs. In recognition of his efforts, Cox ’19, who is now working in the San Diego office of Cooley, received the 2019 Bruce I. Hochman Award for Excellence in the Study of Tax Law.
The Hochman Award is the highest honor that UCLA School of Law presents to outstanding graduates in the field. The $15,000 award is presented by UCLA Law’s Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy and has gone to UCLA Law’s top tax law students every year since 2002.
“UCLA Law’s tax faculty is outstanding, and I feel very fortunate to have taken so many interesting courses from such accomplished professors,” Cox says. He particularly credits Eric Zolt, the Michael H. Schill Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, and his introductory course in federal income taxation for inspiring continued studies in tax law and a career in corporate transactions.
“Initially, I was interested largely because of Professor Zolt’s ability to articulate economic concepts simply and his sense of humor in the classroom,” Cox says. “But as I continued to take other tax courses, I found that the economic and normative questions of tax policy only became more interesting.”
While at UCLA Law, Cox was a member of the team that won $30,000 and second prize in the 2019 Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs for the company EvalueMe, which provides corporate human resources managers with artificial intelligence-driven software that enables them to reduce bias and the appearance of bias in employee evaluations. He also won honors in moot court and mock trial, and he co-chaired El Centro Legal’s student-run Skid Row Housing Clinic.
“Whether it was the UCLA Law faculty, my classmates or the legal professionals we had opportunities to meet through the law school’s programs and events, I never stopped being impressed not just by their personal and professional achievements but by how generous they were with their time,” he says.
The Hochman Award is named for a member of UCLA Law’s first graduating class in 1952 who went on to become a fixture of the Los Angeles legal landscape for nearly half a century. Bruce Hochman worked as a judge advocate general in the U.S. Air Force and a federal prosecutor before founding his own firm in 1956 and becoming one of the most respected litigators in the federal tax bar. He was also a prominent philanthropist and the regional chairman of the Anti-Defamation League.
After Hochman died in 2001, his partner and co-founder of the firm of Hochman and Salkin, Avram Salkin, and Dorothy Salkin invited Hochman’s widow, Harriet Hochman, and the law firm to join them in funding the award.