At the age of one Clarke moved with her parents to Houston, Texas. At age 6 she moved to Woking, England, where she attended TASIS England before moving to New York City at age 11. The nickname "Emmy" is derived from her first two initials. She has two siblings, Patrick (older) and Bridget (younger). She now lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
After the end of Monk, Clarke enrolled at Fordham University, where she earned a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies in 2014. She then began a career in the advertising industry, first as a marketer for mobile photo-sharing application Peep, and then as an media planner for Good Apple Digital, a boutique ad agency in New York's Silicon Alley.