District Judge Brownlie was appointed as a District Judge and Deputy County Court Judge in September 1997. She practised as a solicitor between 1984 and 1997. She was previously a Deputy District Judge between 1993 and 1997 and was appointed Presiding District Judge in 2013.
District Judge Brownlie is a member of the Committee of the UK Association of Women Judges and a member of the International Association of Women Judges. She is also the representative of the Judges Council of Northern Ireland on the European Network for Councils of the Judiciary.