Member Spotlight: Judge Robert J. Blink

blinkRobert J. Blink is a District Court Judge sitting in Judicial District 5C. Judge Blink has served on the bench since March of 1995. He presides over criminal trials, family law cases, and other general civil trials. Prior to serving with the judiciary he worked at Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. in Des Moines, as an Assistant Iowa Attorney General, and as an Assistant Polk County Attorney. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Drake University Law School.  

Q: Why you do what you do?
A: The most productive life is one invested in making the lives of others better.

Q: What is the best thing about the Polk County Bar Association?
A: As our profession becomes more driven by technology, we operate less on human interaction between the bench and bar. PCBA helps to keep that interaction intact. The bar has also been very supportive of the judges, who by virtue of their duties are often subject to unfair criticism. We get by with a little help from our friends.

Q: Do you have any words to live by?
A: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Team of Rivals. by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Q: What is the best place to visit in Polk County?
A: Iowa State Fair

Q: Is there anything you would change about Polk County?
A: Increased diversity in professional communities

Q: What is your leadership philosophy?
A: Never ask someone to do something you would not do yourself. Never expect something of others you do not expect of yourself. Seek to get the optimum performance of every lawyer you work with. A trial judge deserves the level of practice they are willing to tolerate.

Q: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor and why?
A: My mentor was, and always will be, my maternal grandfather. He was an old Methodist minister and a student of Norman Vincent Peale. He could always see something good in everyone.

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: A fighter pilot, then an English teacher, then a trial lawyer. The first is much more aligned with the last.

Q: What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
A: Anything by John Denver, Wynton Marsalis, The Four Seasons, The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and A Whiter Shade of Pale

Q: What is the last movie you saw?
A: Still Alice

Q: If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
A: Natty Bumppo, hero of the Leatherstocking Tales. He seems to be one with nature and appreciates that we are all part of something much larger than we can imagine.

Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would you choose to learn to do and why?
A: Fly a sailplane. I suspect it has much of the sense one has in sailing — only natural sounds and dependent exclusively on the wind.