Rebecca Trowler QC presents a winning case for life in the legal profession
On Monday 4th February, Manchester High held its annual Founders' Lecture.
An audience of over 200 people from the Manchester High community, neighbouring schools and those interested in the legal profession were truly captivated as special guest, Rebecca Trowler QC, recounted her experiences of a life far from ordinary.
Rebecca (Class of ’84) was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2012, Master of the Bench at Gray's Inn in 2017 and Recorder of the Crown Court in 2018 and has had 24 years’ experience in the world of Law. With such an impressive career to date, the audience heard how Rebecca had taken an unconventional route along the way.
After leaving Manchester High, Rebecca spent the summer travelling around the Greek islands before arriving at Greenham Common in 1984 to join the famous protest against the decision of the British government to allow nuclear cruise missiles to be stored there. Rebecca spent 15 months at the camp, which she described as a seminal period in her life as, although it was no easy task in terms of day to day living, to be part of a movement which was the largest mobilisation of women in Britain since the famous suffragettes was exhilarating.
Time spent at Greenham Common left Rebecca with the valuable knowledge of the power of protest; and the realisation that the protection of our rights are dependent on law made a huge impression on her.
Following a further period of travel (in a converted black taxi cab!) and a stint working in London running a nightclub and managing an antiques stall, Rebecca then went on to gain a first class degree in psychology before qualifying in Law. Rebecca has since enjoyed an illustrious career, specialising in criminal law, which she has described as challenging, varied and rewarding. No two days are the same as indeed are no two clients, who come from all walks of life; from the banker charged with corruption, to teenagers in gangs to the woman experiencing domestic violence. Rebecca continues to grow and develop in her career and has recently began practising as a judge.
“My mother first became aware of Manchester High School for Girls during her university days as her campus was based nearby. Fast forward several years and there I was making an 80 mile roundtrip daily to this amazing School. Being in the last year to receive a direct grant, I had an assisted place at the School. I was very fortunate in this respect and recognise the importance of fundraising for bursary places today to ensure the School maintains a diversity in the makeup of its students. My time at Manchester High was great fun and I got up to a few antics whilst there; and it’s no secret that I didn’t always work to my full intellectual capacity! However, the School taught me a high level of independence and responsibility and laid a foundation for developing the confidence to follow my own path and the drive to progress.
“Although I haven’t followed the conventional route to get where I am today, what I would say to my own daughter, and any student wishing to make an impact on the world, is that anything is possible. Make the most of opportunities that come your way, and don’t be defeated by missing targets. In other words; be the woman you are, not the woman you are expected to be.”
Head Mistress, Claire Hewitt said,
“We were so pleased to welcome Rebecca Trowler back to the School. Her lecture was timely as we celebrate 100 years since the Sex Discrimination (Removal) Act 1919, which allowed women to enter the legal profession. We have come a long way during this time and Rebecca joins a number of prolific alumnae who became professionals in this field. I, alongside every other guest in the room, listened to Rebecca’s presentation in awe and find her to be a truly inspirational person. I am so grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to share her experiences with us.”
Photos from the evening can be viewed here and if you couldn't be with us on the night, you can watch Rebecca's talk in full below.