Cox Castle team

Award ceremony attendees, left to right: Cox, Castle & Nicholson summer associates Taylor Thompson and Alexandria Ellison, partners Ira Waldman and David Waite, Shelter Partnership Board Chairman Lance Simon, partner Alicia Vaz and managing partner Dwayne McKenzie.

Thanks to its fight against homelessness in Los Angeles, law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson has been accorded the Ruth Schwartz Legacy Award for 2022.

A leading law firm in the U.S. specializing in real estate, Cox Castle received the accolade for advocating land use and housing policies to help curb the homelessness crisis in greater Los Angeles. The firm was acclaimed at partner and nonprofit organization Shelter Partnership’s annual gala in June, according to a statement.

Shelter Partnership, of which Cox Castle has been a longtime supporter, partners with community groups to provide solutions for homelessness throughout Los Angeles County. It serves the area through policy analysis, program design, resource development and advocacy in supporting local agencies and governments serving homeless individuals.

“Our goal, I think, as a firm is to work with local community groups to try to foster the implementation of those kinds of programs,” Cox Castle partner Ira Waldman said in a statement. “So when talking to some of the members of the real estate lawyers, as to who in Los Angeles would be the ones to connect with, the first name that came to everybody’s lips was Ruth Schwartz.”

The award is named after Ruth Schwartz, who was the co-founder and executive director of Shelter Partnership. 

Cox Castle was presented the accolade in support of its Homelessness Initiative Committee, which consists of attorneys who team up with local groups in the community that attempt to cultivate programming to help the fight against homelessness.

Committee members are involved in numerous efforts to curb the homelessness crisis. These include serving on organization boards involved in the fight, moderating panels increasing awareness and providing pro bono services.

Sean Matsler, Cox Castle partner, said nearly all of them practice real estate law in some facet, placing them in a “unique position” to make an impact in areas of the homeless community.

“We’ve tried to work quite a bit on the safe parking programs,” Waldman said. “We’re also working on the implementation of the homelessness projects at the West LA Vet Center.”

The firm has also contributed to the development of permanent support of housing, addressing problems with land use and siting, and environmental impermanence compliance issues.