Harvard Law School Got Mindy Kaling To Speak At Class Day Because Why Not

In a bit of inexplicable awesome, teevee star Mindy Kaling was one of the speakers at Harvard Law School’s Class Day this year. There does not appear to have been any protest about her speech, which warms our heart. To be honest, we would have killed to have someone like Kaling give our law school commencement address, as our speaker seemed poised to actually fall asleep while he was speaking.


In her trademark combo of self-aggrandizing and self-effacing, Kaling spends the intro explaining how great she is, and that L’Oreal should snapchat her after the speech. However, she’s perplexed why anyone would ask her for advice, because too many people ask celebrities for advice, and then celebrities become things like “officials in high-ranking religions made up 60 years ago.” She explains her struggle to avoid doing the speech: she called her dad to ask if he could get her out of it, she tried to pay a college freshman to do it, and she tried to buy a commencement speech off of movingcommencementspeeches.com.

Kaling goes on to explain that she doesn’t actually know anything about the law, because she went to Dartmouth:

…a college in “lawless rural New Hampshire, where when you arrive you are given a flash of moonshine and box of fireworks and and you are told simply to ‘go to town,’ except there is no town. There is only a forest and a row of fraternity houses that smell like urine.

So, pretty much like we thought.

One of the other speakers at this year’s commencement was US Attorney Preet Bharara, who prosecutes major terrorist cases and goes after big financial crimers. Kaling speculated that they must have wanted to show the full range of what India can produce by inviting her as well: Bharara fights terrorism; she meets handsome men in cute and unusual ways on television. Same difference, really. Also, next season, her character might get a puppy!

Kaling had much praise for the likely pursuits of the newly minted graduates.

You will spend hours arguing that the well water was contaminated well before the fracking occurred. […] One of you will help me sort out the details of my pre-nup. A dozen of you will help me with my acrimonious divorce.

Along the way, she bashes all the other Harvard graduate programs, pointing out that the business school is full of crooks,the divinity school is full of weird virgins, and the med school is just a bunch of nerdy Indians, which she points out she can say, and Preet Bharara can say, but everyone else is out of line “because that is racial”

More highlights:

On justice: She believes in the Clint Eastwood school of justice: you take her eye, she takes your life. In a duel. Aaron Burr style.

On the Harvard crest: it’s three bunches of asparagus, because asparagus is the “tallest and the proudest of the vegetables.”

On the legacy of being a Harvard Law grad: Harvard Law will follow you everywhere, and it will be a downside when you run for Senate, because you’ll have to distance yourself from it to seem like a common man,

…but no matter how many diners you eat at, how many guitar solos you do with Rascal Flatts, you are Harvard to the grave. You won’t be able to buy a pickup truck rusty enough to distance yourself from this place.

Indeed, she reminds us, Mitt Romney chose to be the Mormon guy instead of being the Harvard guy.


Finally, she cautions them about their power.

People are going to listen to what you say now, whether you’re good or evil…Some of you are evil. That’s just the odds.

Let’s be honest. Wouldn’t you rather have listened to this speech than sat through John Kerry mumbling at you? More commencement speeches like this please.

Updated to reflect that this speech was given at Class Day, not commencement, because Harvard Law has more than one fancy self-celebration, apparently. Elitists.

[Boston Globe]

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