Annalise Keating (Oscar winner Viola Davis) is everything you'd want your criminal law professor might be — charismatic, brilliant, passionate. But she's also everything you'd never expect — glamorous, unpredictable, sexy, and dangerous. As bold and daring in the courtroom as she is in the classroom, she's a defense attorney who's made her career representing the most hardened, violent criminals — people who've committed everything from fraud to arson to murder — and she does damn near anything possible to win their freedom. At first glance she looks like she has it all — a great career, a loving husband, Sam (Tom Verica)... but her relationship with a local Philadelphia detective, Nate (Billy Brown), is forcing her to confront secrets about her life that she never saw coming.
Each year, she picks a group of her smartest, most promising students to come work at her law firm. They include:
The students all work under two of Annalise's associates: Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber), a local Philly boy made good, and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil), a sweet, perceptive team-player with a hidden edge.
Early in the first season, Wes has become entangled with his mysterious neighbor, Rebecca (Katie Findlay), after she becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a university coed. Annalise's involvement with Rebecca's case will pose a challenge to her students' values, convictions, and dreams, as she teaches them the dark truth about the law and our justice system. Working for Annalise is the opportunity of a lifetime, one that can change the course of a student's life forever — and that's exactly what happens when they find themselves involved in a murder plot that will threaten the university's foundations.