Professor Norrie joined the Law School at the University of Strathclyde as a lecturer in 1990 and was promoted to a chair of law in 1995. He served as Head of the Law School from 2001-07. Prior to this he was a lecturer in law at the University of Aberdeen (1983-90). He has been a visiting professor to numerous universities worldwide, most recently to the University of Wellington, New Zealand in 2008-09.
He started his academic career as a medical lawyer, but his interest in family law now predominates. His major interests within this field of law are child protection and same-sex families. However, he has been involved in teaching and research projects in most areas of private law.
Professor Norrie has written widely in the area of private law. He wrote the section on Adult Relationships for the Child and Family Law Reissue title of the Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia in 2004. He was also one of the contributors to the title of Obligations in volume 15 of that Encyclopaedia in 1996.