Despite cracking jokes about attorneys during a speech to Harvard Law School graduates, actress, comedian, and writer Mindy Kaling managed to draw plenty of laughs from the crowd.
But that didn’t stop her from jokingly praising Harvard Law graduates for their future success:
“And now, with this diploma in hand, most of you will go on to the noblest of pursuits, like helping a cable company acquire a telecom company. You will defend BP from birds. You will spend hours arguing that the well water was contaminated well before the fracking occurred. One of you will sort out the details of my pre-nup. A dozen of you will help me with my acrimonious divorce.”
Then she spoke glowingly of the value of a prestigious Harvard Law degree, which she assured students will follow them for their entire lives. “If you kill someone you are the Harvard Law Murderer, if you are caught in a lewd act in a public restroom you are the Harvard Law Pervert, my friends,” she said. “And then you can represent yourself, and you’ll probably get acquitted because you went to Harvard.”
The only downside of that distinction is the fact that graduates will need to downplay their degrees when running for political office in order to seem like an average, relatable person — but it probably won’t work, Kaling explained.
She also brought up the rivalry between Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. “I know that you have a chip on your shoulder, ok, Yale Law is always number one and you are always number two,” she joked, before presenting them with the real truth that “you are all nerds.”
Some graduates will become the “quiet heroes” of the nation performing tough work without much glory, and many will become influential, Kaling said. But she was quick to digress from such compliments for more jokes. “People are going to listen to what you say whether you’re good or evil, and that probably scares you because some of you look really young and I’m afraid a couple of you are probably evil, because that’s just the odds,” she quipped.
Kaling did call Harvard Law the best of the university’s graduate programs, but only because the students in the John F. Kennedy School of Government are boring, the Business School “crooks,” the Divinity School “weird virgins,” the Graduate School of Design “European burnouts,” and the Medical School “nerdy Indians.”
But there were serious remarks as well, such as Kaling’s conclusion. “I look at all of you and see American’s futures — attorneys, corporate lawyers, public prosecutors, judges, politicians, maybe even the president of the United States,” she said. “Those are all positions of such great influence. Understand that one day you will have the power to make a difference, so use it well.”
You can watch the full speech, which we saw first on Vulture, below.
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