Emerson is an attorney and has been an advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families for over forty years. Among the cases he has handled are leading precedents (New Jersey Supreme Court) protecting the due process rights of pupils in special education (Lascari) and the constitutional rights of adults with developmental disabilities (J.E.) . Emerson is Past President of the International Dyslexia Association and a former member of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. Emerson is a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Center for Development and Learning, the Professional Advisory Board of The Children’s Dyslexia Centers, was Secretary of the Arc of N.J., a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the National Center for Learning Disabilities for six years, a member of the Learning Disabilities Roundtable sponsored by the Division of Research to Practice of the U. S. Department of Education, Chairman of the Protection and Advocacy Agency for the State of New Jersey for five years, and a founding board member and past Secretary of the Alliance for Accreditation and Certification of Structured Language Education. Emerson has received numerous honors including the 2012 Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Dyslexia Association.