Professor Ahmed Bulbulia, 1943 to 2015
Professor Bulbulia often claimed that a random day’s newspaper headlines would give him grist for a dozen examination questions
Professor Charles Sullivan, Director of the Rodino Law Library, writes,
The Law School mourns the death of beloved Professor Ahmed Ismail Bulbulia, December 12, 1943 to January 28, 2015.
Professor Bulbulia had a remarkable history. He was born in South Africa to parents of Indian descent, went to England for his secondary schooling, and ultimately earned his law degree at the London School of Economics. It was in England that he met his wife Janet, who would later graduate from Seton Hall Law in 1978. He returned briefly to South Africa to take the bar examination (under segregated conditions) but decided to try his luck in the new world. Ahmed earned an LL.M. from Michigan in 1967, and started teaching that year at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. In 1972, he joined the Seton Hall Law faculty.
Professor Bulbulia was also an individual of enormous intellectual breadth. He mastered Criminal Law, Business Associations and Security Regulation, but it was probably Public International Law that he most loved. He reveled in the fact that the developments of the last few years gave him an inexhaustible supply of material to share with students and colleagues. He often claimed that a random day’s newspaper headlines would give him grist for a dozen examination questions.
Michael Ricciardelli ’08, Acquisitions Manager for Hudson Five, a real estate investment firm, , paid tribute to Professor Bulbulia, writing,
I had the absolute pleasure of taking three courses with Professor Bulbulia and spent five years as his colleague after that. He read more law than almost anyone I’ve ever known, and I think the only thing he loved more than the law itself was his family, his colleagues and, of course, his students.
His door was perpetually open, and inside one always found a warm welcome and a stellar juris prudence, laced with laughter and a rapier but loving wit. He was a remarkable intellect and a kind soul. I will miss him dearly, as will the countless students to whom he so wholeheartedly devoted himself.
Professor Bulbulia was beloved by many students whom he befriended over the years. But he had a special place in his heart for the Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) program and the students who came through Seton Hall. Founded in 1978, the LEO program provides educationally disadvantaged students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to succeed in the study of law.
For many years Professor Bulbulia led and taught LEO classes. He was passionate about his students, with particular zest for those who had overcome major challenges in their journeys to law school. Through the LEO program and Seton Hall, Professor Bulbulia connected with hundreds of students, some of whom have gone on to become State and Federal judges; Partners and Associates at major law firms; high-ranking governmental officials and advisors, and leaders in business and industry.
Andy R. Camacho ’03, a LEO student and now a Prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office in Miami, writes,
“Professor Bulbulia’s connection with his students endured not only during the class time but also through our Seton Hall years and beyond. Groups of current and former students would often meet in Professor Bulbulia’s office, engaging in lively discussions about the latest Wall Street news. Those same students could also count on Professor Bulbulia’s help with any of their classes. Very few things brought him greater satisfaction than the opportunity to help one of his beloved students. He was a friend and mentor to them. The students, like me, who had the benefit of his teaching will never forget him.”
In addition to his wife, Janet, Professor Bulbulia leaves behind two sons, Naim and Adam, and three grandchildren.
Seton Hall Law will host a memorial service in Professor Bulbulia’s memory on Wednesday, February 25 at 3:00 p.m., at Seton Hall Law.