The Empirical Research Group at UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles pic
University of California, Los Angeles


Sylvia Scott is a lawyer and partner with Freeman, Freeman & Smiley, LLP, focusing her work as an attorney on securities regulations. An alumna of Loyola Marymount University, attorney Sylvia Scott earned her JD from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (UCLA Law).

Recognized as a trailblazer in legal education and training, UCLA Law created the Empirical Research Group (ERG) in the 1990s. ERG focuses on designing and implementing quantitative research in public policy and law.

Faculty members associated with the methodology-oriented group have written extensively on a wide range of topics, encompassing campaign finance disclosure, gay rights, pollution prevention, legal aid, and bankruptcy.

ERG students can select a topic of their choice to improve their skills in data analysis, research design, and statistics. Students involved in the ERG program also have the opportunity to take part in special courses such as public interest law, housing issues, and bankruptcy law along with having the chance to work with prominent researchers in a work study program.


FINRA Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) Image:
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA)

A partner at Freeman, Freeman & Smiley, LLP, in Los Angeles, attorney Sylvia Scott leads the firm’s Securities Regulation Practice Group. A lawyer with tremendous exposure to matters involving securities regulatory compliance, Sylvia Scott’s focus as an attorney is on helping clients abide by the regulations of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA).

FINRA issues the Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter (the “Letter”) annually to serve as a guide for brokers and dealers on the regulatory concerns it will focus its examinations on that year.

Firms should use the Letter in applying changes to their business model, so as to be prepared in case of regulatory examinations. If the Letter has earmarked due diligence and long-term stability, a firm engaged in private placements should review its operations to strengthen controls in these areas.

With regard to large firms with multiple departments, the Letter should be circulated to the various departments. Afterwards, a meeting between the executive council and department representatives should be held to discuss the extent to which the Letter extends to the risky segments of each department and how they can remedy that. The modifications should be considerate and timely.

For smaller firms, similar measures should be taken, even if they have a much smaller size or fewer departments.