Thursday, July 28, 2011

In-House Counsel Salaries

once upon a time i was looking at jobs in-house at a bank. i flirted with this idea for quite a while and alsmot made the leap until i had th stark realization that if i joined a bank, even on the cost side, even as a alwyer, i could, in some sense, be considered a banker. i alomst vomited my anus. actually, what i really realized was that i have absolutely negative interst in finance, so leaving out of desperation (which unfroutnately is wat so many do) to do something even more realted to finance, wd be teeth-pullingly excruciating. but that's all neitehr here nor there. what i do want to write about, is for the many people wondering, and who are actually interested, how worth it really is it to move in-house (in a bank), which for many typical corporate monkey alwyers, is one of the most common 'exits'. i always asked friends who have since movd on and the answers were always something like 'its complicated'. okay, that's helpful, but not really. so one guy who worked in Asia gave me this comparison chart that a headhundrt had put together for people's comps at various banks in HK and Singapore, summarizing how much they made. it's below so you can take a look urself. it was in 2010.

bottomline: it depends. depends on your negotiating leverage, the market, the bank, etc. but generally speaking, if u leave when u r around a midlevel, u can get an offer that about matches or maybe beats ur current comp, but not necessarily on an apples to apples basis - ull prolly have more of ur salary be a 'performance'-based or market-linked bonus, with a bigger upside, perhaps equity comp, but overall lower incremental increases each year (much unlike law firms annual step ups). so ull basically be somewhat 'locked' in once u move if an duntil u fill someone else's shoes above VP lvel. from my own personal experience, i once looked at jobs when i was technically a 3d yr (but i hadn't even worked for 2 full years yet...funny how that works huh) and got at least one offer that beat my current comp, all in, bu about 10%, a european bank, which means the $/hr wd have been thru the roof! but anyway. just a lil FYI. (note that the amts below r in hong kong dollars cuz the firm that did this was in asia, so u need to subtract out some other benefits that wd be typical in asia for a more relevant comp in the US - like the home leave - see my post about law firm salaries)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Staying Healthy: My Pyramid of Happiness

whether u r a corporate monkey lawyer or just some monkey, a job is a job is a job and usu has some amt of stress, no matter how mcuh monkeying around u r able to get away with. so in addition to all my monkeying tricks, destressing techniques, etc. i think there are some v important basic fundamentals i try to follow that are essentila to being happy - or at least happy sas u can be while stickkng pineapples up ur bum. it's like trying to build a house wout a solid foundation - u can try and do as many fancy trix as u want to make it appear sturdy and to patch up all the lil cracks and shit, but when that earthquake comes, ull crumble withut ur bedrock.

so wat r these essentiasl? may not be exactly the same for everyone, but perhaps for most, and for me at least, i thnk the key is to stay healthy. when ur mom used to tell u that ur health always shld come first, she wasnt sellin u no crackrcok. try doing anything with a fever, migraines or flaming diarrhea before u disagree. but mroe than just being not sick, being healthy - like day to day, above average healthy - is important. think of it like htis - to the extent that ur job, ur life whatever makes u want to blow ur brains out, thats how much above par u need ot be healthy outside of that to counteract ur suicicadal tendencies. so in school for eg, u cd study all day and night and ace that test, and get a snazzy job where u cant socialize with anyone and look like frankenstein, or kinda study and go paly outside and still get a snazzy job where u continue to play outside. the choice, i think, shld be clear. i kno someone who has billed over 400 hrs consistently the past few months; he literally looks like shit. lik ea walking turd. face all bloated but wrinky. weird rashes blemishes acne and sores cover his body like random undisgested bits poking out of ur feces. and smelly. at this point, u just need to stop, and say to urself, is anything worth turning into a walking turd? doubt it.

so wat do i do to stay healthy? i got a v simple pyramid - u know kinda like the food pyramid before it turned into a web, and only one level, with three thigns. like a cowbell with a point on top. and these are like my top priorities, before anything else, will, as much as possible, honro this shit. at the top of my potent polygon is sleep. my god i fucking love sleep. if u dont, ur delusional from lack of sleep.  i need like at least 8.5 hours, but preferably 9, and preferably starting from before midnight. and u know wat, cuz it's at the top of my triangle, i almost always fucking get it! why not? is it that hard to make sure u get like one thing done in a day? get to bed early and get up late. im usu in the office by 10 (when there's work to be done), but even if i m late, no one is going to fire me. half the fucking office is not there before 1030, let alone the partners.  sleep is so key.  to help u realzie this if u dont, just look at when u dont get sleep. u first turn into a sloppy mess, then a raging lunatic, then a blithering incompetent ding dong, in that order. any of those things wil prolly more likely get u canned than being late fro sleeping in. so if u acknowlge its importantce, make sure u do it. (there are nights, i know, where people are up all night, where you work late, etc. sometims this just has to be done - u do get paid like 250k a year; but wat i dont get is succesive all nighters, late nights etc. u need the day to recuperate. convince someone that u cannot function if u dont recover by working under protest and doing a shitty job, conspicuously walk into a wall, fake vomit on ur boss, eat recycled paper in the hall, act out an anneurism...someone will send u home, and if not, u shld not be working there). and if u cant get a full 9 in a night for ay reason - early meeting or something - make sure to nap after lunch. best to sneak out to ur car or somewhere else one cant be found/distrubd.

second, is exercise. i exercise regularly. not cuz im a healthfreak or some crazy bitch obsessed with my weight, but cuz it makes me feel good. theres only so much fried chcken u can eat and not exercise before u start feeling like ur skin has actually changed into just a thin film of oil and ur sweat into gravy. its scientifcialy proven somwehre that exercise kicks ass. u shld read it in that jounral where it talks about it if u dont believe me but its true. find someting u like, make time for it and do it. that hour during lunch is good excuse, u always eat at ur desk anwyay so may as well use the hour to do something thatll make u feel nice for the rest of the time u feel like crap. or find any hour during the day bc i assure u no one is going to miss u that much or die in that hour. or n the morning before work if u can get up, or after work if that floats ur boat. if u cant get to the gym or no outlets nearby, u cd do little things everyday to just keep ur consciencse and heart afloat. like situps or pushups every morning (i do 7 min of continuous situps every am regardless of whethr i plan to get other exercise in - it has become such a routine its not a thing, helps me program and jump start my metabolism at a certin time every day, keeps me from having to buy new patns and takes less time than it takes to drop a 10 couric shit)

lastly - diet. again, not like the 'i'm on a diet' diet, but like the 'u r wat u eat' diet. i wd advise, binge on donuts and fried chicken only once every few weeks or while on vacation, get piss drunk only once in a while when there's an occasion or when friends r in town (u can drink normaly if thas ur destress or ur thing, but i wd advis against getting blackout, vomit in every orifice shitfaced too often), try to eat lighter meals more often rather than a few big meals. u can do that thing that dude did in supersize me, but only like once i think. just be moderate - dont need to be crazy. if u exrecise regularly, everythign shld balance out.

so that's it. sleep, eat, play. sounds simple btu for the lif eo f me almost all laywers i know have replaced my central cowbell of happiness with thre other thgns: work, bitch, work. i follow these fundamentals, do my de-stress, rake in the bananas and stay happy. so next time u find urself with a case of 35 with untimely acne, or um...a fever...just remembr this age old adage:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Playing Hooky IV / Escaping Work II

was having lunch wt one of my banker frinds the othr day and got anothr gem to add to the arsenal.

some firms leash theri ass.s like dogs, like prison murderer dogs. ankle bracelets and shit to keep track of where u r all the time, when u r out of the city, out of the state, country whatever. some firms make you divulge all plans all the time. or policies to make you give them 'emergency' contacts. etc. u need not comply and its advisable you do not - ur just risking that some douche partner will actualy try to use some of that info to contact you at some point and then they have somethng to point at when thy give you that stern passive-aggressive or just aggressive admonishmnet. i think one common thng is they will ask u to make sur u r reachable. or at least expect ur phone to be on all the time unless u r then they know when u r traveling. 

if ur traveling lez say over the wknd and u want ur phone off the hwole time. have at it. but IF some douche wants you, urgently, whether is for a deal that u didnt expect shit on, someone wants to ask u  a question or the worst - u r to be staffed - they may get pissd off at u.  i remeber one story a dude told me, he turned his phone on silent (just silent), overnight (just overnight), with no expectation of work. woke up to find like 10 missed calls and urgetn emails from the partner, starting from like 5 AM.  then he got schewed oout about how he needs to have his phone on all the time, this is a24-7 job. blah blah blah. depends kind of on who u work with but that is fuckin bs. my ballsy associte friend turns off his phone at 10pm everynight on the dot, unless hes still working. if ppl r gonna die cuz they cant find YOU, they'd give YOU a beeper, call you Dr. Monkey and would give u a special card that lets you drive 150mph on the freeway and flick off the chp when thye try to pull u over (yes doctros do actually ahve that card its the stuff of awesome-o). i digress. 

anyway, if u r traveling, and ur phone is off, when u do eventually jcechk ur email, if u get any of these emails or calls, u cd always play the sick card or something - but u can only do this a few times. my buddy was on a plane when he got those messages and showed my the transcript - went something like this:

banker boss: where in tarnation is my fucking thing that i wanted that doesnt matter actually
banker: [radio silence]
banker boss: helloooo? wtf ur phone isn't on. wtf.
banker: [radio silence]
banker boss: .... im going to fuck ur skull later with a nine iron taped to a baseball bat
banker: [after landing] hi dildo - sorry about the delayed response; i was in church all morning and had my phone off. still working on the stupid thing u want. 
banker boss: oh that's okay i totally understand; sorry to disturb you. no rush.

!! aamazing!! im not really a churchgoing man, perhaps u can tell, and u may or may not be iether. but if thers one thing that ppl dont want to get nailed on, is being insensitive to religion...the one last great frontier. sure u cd also say u were busy at the pedophile parade or the nazi sympathizer rally but that proly wdnt fly as well. there r other thngs u cd say tho that r equaly creative. 

anyway a few noteworthy pints:

  • most cell phones have a different ring sound to the caller when u r in a different country. better to be off and in church than cuahgt with yo pants down. (cuz if u call them back, they wnt know and wnt be any the wizer)
  • jewish sabbath is from sundown friday to sundown saturday. FRIDAY. FRIDAY. FRIDAY = party time
  • catholics go to church like 50 times a week. so cd u.
  • call it "temple" and u can be any religino u want. eg., i'm sorry, i was at temple all weekend for a special ceremony. u kno, the one where we induct a new brother by ripping out his heart with our bare hands. 
  • if ur a minority, pick somthgn sexy like buddhism, hinduism or find one on wikipedia (prefrablyu one that also entitles u to extra pay). if u r from some other underrepresented class, use that to ur advantage - technicaly i guess its not blasphmy (or wrong...) unless u actualy believe in the thing and it says u cant use it to ur advantage
  • make it a habit of never picking up ur phone when work ppl call anyway to condition them like animals
  • give urself a brak and assign specific ringtons to work people or ur friends so u dont freak out when ur phone rings
  • turn off that fucking red light on ur blackbery
  • dl bebuzz on ur bb to intordcs some pizzazz into ur life (itll change that red light into a blue one..or a 'disco' one)
  • according to law, no store is allowed to sell a toothbrush on the Sabbath in Providence, Rhode Island, but yhe same stores are allowed to sell toothpaste and mouthwash on Sundays. awesome
  • it's illegal in Alabama to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church. rad