Scott is a native of Sioux City, having attended Heelan High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Briar Cliff College, summa cum laude, in 1983. He received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1986. Scott is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska and the Eighth Circut Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Woodbury County, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska State Bar Associations, as well as the American Bar Association, Iowa Defense Counsel Association and the Defense Research Institute.