The Hon Lady Rita Rae QC

Biography of The Hon Lady Rita Rae QC

The Hon Lady Rita Rae QC
The Hon Lady Rita Rae QC

The Honourable Lady Rita Rae was elected as Rector on 21st April 2021. Lady Rae will become the first standing female Rector in the University’s history. Lady Rae was successful over two other candidates, former journalist and current MP John Nicolson, and Councillor Junaid Ashraf. She took office on 30th April 2021 and will serve a three year term in the role.

Lady Rae has had an incredible career to date, paving the way for women in the legal industry at a time when women were considered emotionally unsuitable for court work.

Lady Rae graduated in 1972 from the University of Edinburgh with an honours degree in law before beginning her career as a solicitor. She quickly rose to the position of partner in a leading criminal law practice.

In the early 1980s she broke down barriers, joining the male-dominated Faculty of Advocates. Her varied workload as an advocate included children’s and adoption hearings, high-profile criminal work and even included appearing in Strasbourg before the European Court of Human Rights. She then worked as a Sheriff across Scotland before being appointed as a High Court Judge and an Upper Tribunal Judge in immigration and asylum cases.

In 2019, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in Laws from the University of Glasgow in Recognition of her career and contribution to Scottish law.

Lady Ray took part in the University of Glasgow School of Law's 100 Voices for 100 years exhibition, part of the School of Law's centenary celebrations featuring the voices of 100 women, past and present, who have a connection to the School. You can read her contribution here.


The Hon Lady Rita Rae QC
University Link: Honorary Graduate, Rector
GU Degree: LLD, 2019;
Occupation categories: Judge; Lawyer; Senator of the College of Justice; Sheriff; Solicitor
Record last updated: 5th May 2021

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