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Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE)

What our client has to say

Need:          An experienced attorney to succeed a revered Executive Director

Service:     Comprehensive National Search


The nonprofit poverty law firm, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) serves western Ohio – from Toledo to Dayton – providing quality legal assistance in civil matters to low-income individuals and groups, and represents agricultural workers throughout the state. Committed to racial justice through a community lawyering approach, ABLE enjoys a rich legacy of varied, dynamic and transformational advocacy. When its long-serving Executive Director announced his retirement, the ABLE Board of Directors chose The Yunker Group to lead the search.


Susan Solle, Search Committee Co-Chair, offered insight on why The Yunker Group was the best choice for ABLE’s executive search: “The reason we chose The Yunker Group initially was their considerable experience with Legal Aid organizations and with nonprofits in general—and their track record of success. That extensive knowledge and experience proved to be a great asset during the search.” 


Fellow Search Committee Co-Chair, Sarah Skow, reinforced that, as an organization, ABLE had specific sensitivities and concerns, which The Yunker Group handled very skillfully: “In this search, issues of diversity and inclusion were of great importance—as they always should be, of course, but also because, in this case, they directly relate to the mission and culture of ABLE. The Yunker Group did a great job of keeping these concerns at the forefront and leading some important and insightful conversations around ‘implicit bias’ and how that could shape our perceptions of the candidates.”


For Sarah, the level of collaboration and flexibility really set The Yunker Group apart: “I think one of the strengths of this process compared to others I’ve been involved in is the level of input we, as committee members, had and the number of opportunities we were given to express our thoughts, ask questions, and contribute to the process. The Yunker Group also stood out to me in terms of flexibility with their own process—their willingness to consider how it could be tailored to better meet our needs and their effectiveness at brokering compromise when that was needed.”


Both Co-Chairs praised Jim Yunker’s skill as a facilitator, diplomat, and problem-solver during the process. Susan explained that “When issues would come up during the process—questions, disagreements, differences of opinion—Jim was great at asking the right questions of everyone to make sure we were framing things in the right way. He was great at putting us back on the right track, if we started going down the wrong road.”


They especially appreciated Jim’s sensitivity to the level of investment and emotion surrounding this particular process. Sarah shared, “I think [Jim] did a good job understanding that we were all very passionate about the importance of this position, especially after an Executive Director with over 30 years of experience and whose name had become synonymous with ABLE was retiring. The Yunker Group did a good job facilitating meaningful conversation around this reality, but also of really listening to what people had to say and what their concerns were.”


Overall, Susan concluded, “I don’t know how we could’ve done it without them. They were fabulous to work with. Jim was extremely responsive, and made himself available just about whenever we needed him. Every bump that we hit along the way, he knew how to smooth it out and move forward. It was just a great experience.”