Before his arrival in the United States in 1939, he was Professor of Criminal Law and Member of Parliament for the ORGA (Galician Autonomous Republican Organization). During the Spanish Civil War he was appointed Spanish consul in Geneva in 1938 by the Republican government. He left Switzerland after this country recognized the Franco regime as legitimate in 1939. He left for Paris and then Antwerp, where he took a ship to New York after contacting Xosé Castro from the Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas. He arrived in April 1939.
In New York he worked as professor in the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College and published many literary studies, for example on Emilia Pardo Bazán, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán as well as on the history of Galicia. He also published a chronicle of Castelao’s stay in New York, which includes references to Galician antifascist activity in New York (Castelao, propagandista da República en Norteamérica (2000)).
González López collaborated with the Casa Galicia of Unity Gallega in New York, for example as part of the Sección de Cultura (Cultural Section) on several occasions. After the dictatorship, he received several awards in Galicia: member of the Real Academia Galega de Xurisprudencia e Lexislación (1978), Medalla Castelao (1984), Cronista Xeral de Galicia (1991-1992), Doutor Honoris Causa by A Coruña University (1991). In 2007, Casa Galicia financed a bust honoring him in A Coruña, on the street that bears his name next to the Los Rosales neighborhood (Sources: Ana Lorenzo, “Emilio González López ya tiene un busto en su calle”, La Voz de Galicia 13/8/2007, Ramón Martínez, A literatura galega no exilio (1987); Diccionario de Catedráticos Españoles de Derecho; Miguel Anxo Seixas Seoane, Castelao. Construtor da nación, tomo II (1931-1939) (2020)).