Sylvia worked as a felony trial attorney with the Orange County Alternate Defender Office prior to joining PFJ. In 2019, Sylvia was the recipient of the Don Sims Attorney of the Year Award from the Orange County Public Defender Office.
As a proponent of alternatives to incarceration, she worked closely with the collaborative court system in Orange County including Mental Health Court and Homeless Court. She previously worked as an attorney with the Los Angeles Public Defender Office and as a Staff Attorney with Mental Health Advocacy Services. Sylvia helped organize the Public Defenders in Support of Black Lives Matter protest in Orange County as a part of a nationwide action. She also led a Stop Asian Hate Rally to mobilize the legal community with a message of community care rather than increased law enforcement. As an undergraduate student at UC Irvine, Sylvia fought alongside janitorial workers on campus to demand better working conditions and proper funding of public education.