Mindy Kaling’s Advice for Harvard Graduates: Some of You Are Evil

Mindy Kaling on the set of her FOX sitcom, The Mindy Project.
Mindy Kaling on the set of her FOX sitcom, The Mindy Project. –JORDIN ALTHAUS/ FOX

Mindy Kaling returned to her hometown of Cambridge, Mass., on Wednesday to give the commencement address at Harvard Law School’s graduation.

Kaling is the producer and star of the FOX sitcom “The Mindy Project’’, which follows the professional and romantic antics of an obstetrician-gynecologist named Mindy Lahiri, played by Kaling.

She rose to fame as a writer and actress on the hit NBC show “The Office’’. In 2010, she published a memoir, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)’’ that includes stories of her childhood in Cambridge.

Kaling wasn’t afraid to get a little snarky in her speech to the Harvard graduates.


Here are some excerpts from her address:

1. On the graduates’ future jobs: “You will help a cable company acquire a telecom company. You will defend BP from birds. You will spend hours arguing that the wellwater was contaminated before the fracking occured. One of you will sort out the details of my prenup.’’

2. On the type of graduate program she could get behind: “Yes, duels are what you learn when you enter into my graduate program, the Harvard School of Vengeance.’’

3. On HLS’s famous alumni: “Harvard Law has an incredible number of illustrious alumni. President Barack Obama attended Harvard Law, or so he says. Elle Woods went here, from the trenchant documentary ‘Legally Blond.’’’

4. On what the “Harvard’’ name means: “You can do whatever you want now, and this institution will follow you everywhere…When you run for Senate, you will have to distance yourself from it to seem more like a regular person. You won’t be able to buy a pickup truck rusty enough to distance yourself from this place.’’

5. On helping humanity: “You are entering a profession where, no matter what the crime, you have to defend the alleged perpetrator. Across the campus, Harvard Business School graduates are receiving diplomas, and you will have to defend them.’’


6. On their future responsibilities as lawyers: “The thing I find most fascinating is that you are responsible for the language of justice, for the careful and precise wording in all those boring contracts I skim while I watch Real Housewives…Your dedication to meticulous reading is a tedium I find so admirable.’’

7. On their newfound 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.’’

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