This Month's BULLS EYE FEATURE: Lynda L. Hinkle
What can you say about someone whose self-proclaimed childhood ambition was “to do more than Benjamin Franklin” and whose goal-yet-to-be-achieved is “world domination”?
The answer may be just get out of the way and allow this force of nature to take its course.
Forty-four year old attorney Lynda Hinkle lives in what she characterizes as “a very small house in Bellmawr Park” and she says “I love, love, love it and my town.”
Self-described as “no nonsense,” Hinkle began her career working for former Congressman Rob Andrews as a district representative.
She earned a BA in English from Rowan in 1993, a Masters in Teaching from Rowan in 2002, an MA in English from Rutgers in 2008, and, finally a JD from Rutgers in 2009
For the past six years, Hinkle has been the owner of her own law firm that now has 12 employees. Headquartered in Turnersville, the firm practices in the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child/spousal support, DCPP, military divorce, domestic violence, family law appeals, wills and estates, estate administration, elder law, guardianships, and government affairs/legislative advocacy.
Asked what she knows now that she wishes she’d known then, she showcases her sardonic sense of humor by replying “To eat more of the free food you get away with as a young person in politics. You don’t get that anymore once you are old.”
The best part of her job, Hinkle says, is “my team. What an awesome, quirky, powerful, dedicated team of gladiators they are!”
And the worst part? “I hate having to fire people, but my staff and my clients deserve the best so I when someone isn’t a good fit, I have to take the hard road.”
She attributes the best advice she has ever received to her father, who told her “When all else fails, fear works.”
When people don’t like what she has to say, “they will listen anyway. One way or another,” she boasts, adding that, if you really want to make her angry, “waste my time.”
The worst advice she can recall came from an ex-husband who wanted her to “come up with a backup plan in case the law office didn’t work out, when I first started it. I told him there was no backup. We would succeed because we had no choice.”
Hinkle’s business philosophy is “Be honest, do the right thing, and take well thought out risks.” She adds that her personal motto is “keep walking” and she measures her success in the quality of her enemies. “If the people who don’t like you are, for the most part, accomplishing nothing and are petty, small minds, but the people who love you are amazing, you’re a success.”
Asked why somebody would want to meet her, she replies, “ I often pick up the check!”
Her best decision, she says came on the day her former paralegal brought a stray dog into the office. “I fell in love and said ‘he’s mine. He stays.’”
When Hinkle meets people, the first thing she notices about them is “who or what they are paying the most attention to, because then I know what they are about.”
One bad habit that she just can’t break is ‘cupcakes,” and one game you will never beat her at, she declares, is Cards Against Humanity.”
If she had a “do-over,” it would be to “have paid more attention when I took statistics class. Who knew THAT would be useful?”
Asked where she would go and why if she could travel back in time, Hinkle responds “As long as I don’t have to go in summer, where there is no air conditioning, I suppose I would want to go back and spend some time with Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde when they met up in Camden because I’ve always wondered what that meeting was like.”
If her flight is delayed and she is stuck on the tarmac for a long time, she would most want to be sitting next to Bill Clinton “because he would make it a party.”
Same scenario…she would least want to be sitting next to Al Gore “because although I admire his intelligence if he spent the whole time talking to me about disaster, I wouldn’t ever get on the plane.”
If she could do one thing to change South Jersey, it would it be to find “more funds to support victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.”
When she brags about South Jersey to people from elsewhere in the state or from out of state, she says “We have everything you could want: proximity to the shore, the city, beautiful rural areas, suburban shopping…it’s all here!”
One question she hopes that she is never asked is “Where were you on the night of….?”
Finally, her epitaph (as she would like it to be written) would be “You Are Here.”