What The Heck Is A Returnship?

Just when we think the only news about corporate America is either depressing or horrifying, someone goes and does something refreshingly wonderful.

Sara Lee has announced that it’s launching what it is calling "returnships" -- four- to six-month internships at the Downers Grove, IL-based foodmaker for mid-career professionals who have been out of the workforce for a few years.

Spearheaded by CEO Brenda Barnes, a mom who stopped and later returned to her career after some time off to spend with her kids, it seems like a win-win. What a great way to tap into a market of trained professionals, address some projects flexibly, and build good will with the shoppers that form their company’s target market, all at the same time! Absolutely brilliant! I would imagine that after what amounts to a four-to-six-month on-the-job interview, they will make a number of permanent hires out of the group.

I think there are plenty of ways the legal profession could piggyback on this -- we've certainly seen similar situations work out very well for both our clients and some of our attorneys who return to the practice of law.