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Middleton Law School, Where Viola Davis Teaches, is Fake

Jessica Frye
Jessica Frye

Updated on July 17, 2024

How To Get Away With Murder aka HTGAWM is quite possibly one of the most popular legal mystery/suspense/soap-opera-y shows on network television since Law and Order: SVU – and that’s saying a lot – because I am stage five clinger obsessed with Detectives Benson and Stabler.

Featuring the amazing Viola Davis, (I mean seriously – how much did they luck out with that one) the show has garnered more awards than we can count – and we tried. The point is the list goes on and on to the point that it gets borderline ridiculous because apparently everyone and their mother has drunk their fair share of the HTGAWM cool aid.  So unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about it. If you’re more like me, you’ve developed full-blown clinical grade insomnia during season durations.

how to get away with murder cast
The cast of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”

Oh, and there are others on the show besides Viola Davis, despite the fact that no one seems to care. So who is in How to Get Away With Murder cast, you ask? Everyone from the adorable little runt of a law school first year, Wes (Alfred Enoch) to the fiery hot oh-so-sexy make you wanna slap your mama Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber).

But let’s just stop for a minute and all take a quick moment of silence for the blessing abounded upon us from heaven thanks to the inclusion of  Charlie Weber (aka Ben from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) — I mean seriously – the infamous shave scene though!? I know I’m not the only girl who watches that show just for him — and I’m married.

charlie weber how to get away with murder cast
Actor Charlie Weber who plays Frank Difino on ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”

Okay, okay so it’s probably only fair to mention some of the others.  There are Annalise and Frank plus the adorably naïve and how-the-heck-does-he-pull-off-an-American-accent-by-the-way-since-he’s-British Wes, played by Alfred Enoch (aka Dean Thomas from Harry Potter).

Also in the line-up is Aja Naomi King (Birth of a Nation) who plays the uptight, privileged always on the edge of a breakdown Michaela Pratt.  Billy Brown has us hot under the collar as Detective Nate Lahey and Matt McGorry plays the sex-obsessed loveable doofus Asher Millstone and the ever so scorching hot Jack Falahee, who very well could have been your Lyft driver at some point in time, plays the handsome and promiscuous playboy-turned-committed-lover Connor Walsh.

The ever so classically beautiful Karla Souza plays the clichéd privileged, over-achieving pretty girl with problems #vomitinmymouth Laurel Castillo and Liza Weil (who’s totally tappin the hotness that is Charlie Weber) of Gilmore Girls origin plays the role of Bonnie Winterbottom, the neurotic and mousy closet psycho assistant to Annalise.

Actress Liza Weil who plays Bonnie Winterbottom on ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”

The show is staged to set in the wonderful and charming city of Philadelphia at Middleton Law School. But wait now — where is Middleton Law sSchool aka where is How to Get Away With Murder campus? Oh, and why have we never heard of it before? Just a heads up — for those of you native to the Philadelphia area including the rundown Philly law school ladies and gents, I’m sure it’s safe to say you’ve never seen any of the picturesque scenes in your hometown.

Well, that’s because my dear friends it’s all lies! Lies I tell you! The show isn’t even shot anywhere remotely close to the City of Brotherly Love – and we’re heartbroken!

middelton law school
Middelton Law School of “How to Get Away With Murder”

Do you feel a bit betrayed because we certainly do —  I mean I know the show is chock full of lies, murder, and sexcapades galore,  but we really felt that we had something, dare we say–special.

Turns out absolutely none of this is filmed in Philadelphia whatsoever — and where is Middleton Law School you ask? Well, in a little place called Los Angeles, California. Middleton Law school is actually the University of Southern California’s campus in L.A. Yep. Pretty much the entire show is filmed in L.A. Everything from Annalise’s gorgeous Victorian-style home/office (located on W. 27th Street in South L.A.) to the interior of the home (shot in an L.A. studio). Pretty amazing when you consider how difficult it must have been to effectively crop out all the palm trees and beachy vegan hippy board surfers in all of their shots. Bravo Ms. Rimes. Bravo.

Building on USC campus which is depicted as Middelton Law School on “How to Get Away With Murder”
Annalise Keating house office
Annalise Keating’s house/office as depicted in “How to get Away With Murder”
middleton law school
The actual home near Downtown Los Angeles which acts as the exterior of Annalise Keating’s house/office.

Oh, and the Criminal 101 law school class auditorium scenes – not even in L.A. Nope! They’re randomly enough actually the closest thing to Philadelphia that the show gets, as they are filmed in good ol’ Collegeville, Pennsylvania inside the Olin Auditorium at Ursinus College – of all places on God’s green earth. #butwhythough…

So with all that juicy info…now let’s have a little recap!

How to Get Away With Murder Season 1

Season one started out with us discovering what a ruthless cold-hearted (albeit surprisingly vulnerable) person Annalise is. It introduces us to her six interns as well as Frank (aka “Frank the Tank” for the purposes of this article alone) and Bonnie.

As the season progresses, we discover through the interns’ suspicions that Sam Keating, Annalise’s two-timing husband, actually did indeed play the central role in his college-aged mistress, Lila’s suspicious death – an event which culminates into a massive struggle with the interns. Sam finds them along with the deceased’s roommate Rebecca (accused of Lila’s murder) in his room snooping, and the struggle leads to his subsequent death (in defense) after he attempts to strangle Rebecca.

In the end, we find Lila’s roommate, Rebecca dies anyway – which is totally a big surprise because we’ve grown to kind of care about this unstable emo hot mess and Wes’ (one of the interns) off-beat and an unexpected romance with her.

How to Get Away With Murder Season 2

Season two is where we delve into the personal lives of each character. It primarily revolves around the secret that Annalise was good friends with one of the Wes’ mother up until her death –an act facilitated by his estranged father who was ashamed of the affair.

We also discover that Frank was responsible for Annalise’s unborn child’s death in a car accident –  a fact which her husband helped cover up and used as blackmail to get Frank to kill his sorority girl mistress who came up pregnant. The season culminates in Wes tracking down his biological father, only to end with him getting shot in the head seconds after he introduces himself to him as well as us finding that the mousy little assistant Bonnie is a certified cold-hearted psychopath who ruthlessly murdered Rebecca to keep her mouth shut. Say whaaaaat.

How to Get Away With Murder Season 3
Season three revolves around an unexpected and mysterious explosion demolishing Annalise’s house while filled with unknown individuals. As the season progresses, it whittles down the possible suspects as well as the list of interns who could be the dead body found in the fire. When we discovered it was Wes, we cried ourselves to sleep and wore only black for a month only to find out is was surprisingly enough his new love interest, intern Laurel’s father responsible for the explosion. Oh, the tangled webs we weave…

How to Get Away With Murder Season 4

In February 2017, ABC announced it had renewed How to Get Away With Murder for another season. Season 4. It’s scheduled to air from September 2017 into early 2018. The number of episodes is unknown but we know they’ll be full of drama!

Jessica Frye
Written by

Jessica Frye

Jessica loves two things most in this world; celebrities and her dog. She can be seen walking along Venice Beach with her yellow lab mix in tow, staring off into the sky hoping that looking uninterested and deep will get her discovered. She may or may not have followed Justin Timberlake's every move back in the day but now she is content to write out her obsession for Velvet Ropes along with ghost writing novels about celebrity romance. Jessica recently decided to bring her passions to Twitter. When she's not busy writing and making plans for her celebrity life after being discovered, you can find her there.