Only two women were wearing caps and gowns at the Rutgers University School of Law in Camden graduation in 1963. Barbara Kulzer of Medford was one, and she went on to make significant contributions in law.
Ms. Kulzer died Nov. 28 after a three-month battle with liver problems and pneumonia. She was a professor and then associate dean at the Rutgers Camden Law School for three decades before retiring in 1998. In retirement, Ms. Kulzer, 74, served as counsel to her brother Michael's law firm, Kulzer & DiPadova in Haddonfield. She also published articles in law journals and legal periodicals. Her most prominent work, "Some Aspects of the Enforceability of Foreign Judgments: A Comparative Study," published in 1967, is still considered authoritative.
"I always found her really smart and perceptive," said Craig Oren, a law professor at Rutgers Camden who was a colleague of Ms. Kulzer's from 1984 until her retirement. When he was a new professor who taught the same class as Ms. Kulzer, Oren said, "She always had good advice for me."
Ms. Kulzer's success did not come easily. Though extremely bright, she had difficulty being one of two female law students in a class of about 150.
"When she was in law school, some of the students wouldn't even talk to her," her brother said.
Ms. Kulzer persevered through law school, where one of her professors was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now a Supreme Court justice, then teaching at Rutgers-Newark. Ginsburg also served as an early mentor to Ms. Kulzer, Michael Kulzer said. Ms. Kulzer went on to earn a master's degree in international law from the Columbia University School of Law.
"There was more to Barbara than most people would believe," Ms. Kulzer's friend Jeannine Chambers said.
They met about 35 years ago, when they lived in the same Medford neighborhood, and bonded over their love of horseback riding.
"She was really good with animals, and really very generous," Chambers said, adding that Ms. Kulzer would take care of Chambers' pets when she was away. She said she always saw envelopes seeking donations to animal welfare groups in Ms. Kulzer's mailbox.
Ms. Kulzer also enjoyed gardening, traveling the world, skiing, reading, and acting. She starred in school productions during her undergraduate years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English.
In addition to her brother, Ms. Kulzer is survived by sister Judith Walker; two nieces; two nephews; and four grandnieces.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at Kain-Murphy Funeral Services in Haddonfield. A Memorial Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Haddonfield.
The family requests donations to Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Camden, or the Animal Welfare Association Inc. of Voorhees.