Emery graduated with honors in History from Trinity University, San Antonio in 1980 where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in 1983 and has practiced almost exclusively since then in collection litigation and bankruptcy law. In addition to being licensed by the Texas Supreme Court in 1983, Emery is also licensed in the U.S. Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas.
Emery grew up in Dallas, where he attended Jesuit College Preparatory School. He has two children and currently lives in Southlake, Texas.