Emma graduated with a BA LLB from the University of Cape Town in December 2011, and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Lund University in Sweden in June 2018 (cum laude) for which she received a Graduate Scholarship for International Studies from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. While in Sweden, Emma was a director of Jus Humanis, a student-run NGO dedicated to the promotion and protection of universal human rights and democracy through investigation, publication, research and public discourse.

She returned to South Africa in 2018 and worked as part of a team of activists who developed a submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on state capture at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). From June 2018 to August 2019, Emma worked as an independent researcher for various NGOs in the public interest sector. In August 2019, she joined Just Share full-time.

She completed her articles at Bowmans between January 2013 and December 2014, and practised as an attorney in the litigation department until March 2016. She was admitted as an attorney in the High Court of South Africa in March 2015. Emma is a keen traveller and spent 2012 travelling around Europe, Asia and Africa.