Successful Berklee Alumni #187: Emma Fairholm

Emma Fairholm
Listen to the interview or download it.

Graduated in 2017 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: flute.

Position: (In-house) Counsel at Key Capture Energy, a firm that develops, builds, and operates utility-scale storage systems (typically battery based) for clean energy projects. She is one of two lawyers at this company, which has a bit over 40 employees. Emma attends meetings, proofreads documents, approves which documents can be shared internally, and also makes sure finance-related documents are in order.

Overview: Her interest piqued by law-related classes in the Music Business program, Emma started considering a career in entertainment early in her Berklee career, and got more serious by her third year. She did a marketing internship at a law firm, took the LSATs and applied to law schools in her 4th year, getting into the University of New Hampshire’s Law School, which she liked because it was small and had a highly-rated intellectual property program. She graduated from Berklee in the spring of 2017, and started law school that fall. At law school, she did some good internships, including for the Smithsonian Institution, dealing with performances and art acquisition — by the time she was halfway through law school Emma was less focused on music than working with creatives in general.

Her final semester, spring 2020, Emma got a legal internship at a small personal-injury law firm, and she found she enjoyed that very much too. She was in a special program that let her pass the bar before graduation, and her internship became a full-time job, but between the pandemic and the company being reorganized Emma was let go in June. She reached out to a faculty whom she knew, hoping for any job leads. The faculty had recently heard from Emma’s now-boss at Key Capture Energy, who wanted an intern, and encouraged Emma to apply. Emma interviewed and really liked it. Initially hired as a contractor six-months, Emma worked really hard and was offered a full-time position and a pay increase in October, 2020.
You can see Emma’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes: “Being an in-house corporate attorney is less stressful than being at a big law firm. You’re managing projects, not juggling clients who each have a different set of expectations and are in crisis. At my company, everything is interesting. I learn something new every day. The people here are great and always willing help me. The company started in 2016 and they’re trying to run like a startup and keep a community feeling. When I started, people made time just to talk and say hi.”

“Law school is a lot, it’s not what you think it’s going to be. That scene in Legally Blonde where you’re being called on day 1 of class and are expected to have done the reading and be able to explain it, that’s how they teach. Very Socratic method. You really need to study and be ready for that.”

“My first two years of law school I had to stand up and argue a case in front of a judge. If I hadn’t performed at Berklee I never would’ve been able to do it, but thanks to Berklee I was able to switch into my performance-mindset and make it through.”

“Follow your gut. I questioned myself every step of the way, and still do. But if it’s what you want to do, go for it. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out and you find something else to do.”




See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.