THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
April 1, 2011 | 21
Story by Christopher Guly Illustration by Peter Bono
First-year Queen’s University law
student Simon Borys is at least three years
away from his call to the Ontario Bar, but he
already has his future career in law pretty well
The 28-year-old former police officer
wants to practise criminal law either solo or
with a small firm.
“It will allow me the flexibility to grow and
change and adapt at my own pace,” say Borys,
“One thing I found about policing is that it’s
very slow to adapt. As a public-sector organization that is also paramilitary — which makes it
even more top heavy— it moves at a dinosaur’s
pace and I found that very frustrating.
“For someone like myself, who’s young,
ambitious, who’s driven, who’s aware of tech-
nology and who’s prepared to utilize technol-
ogy to further their ambitions, I find it very
difficult to work in an environment like that.”
While Borys’ lawyerly aspirations will find
him dealing with a Criminal Code dating back
to the late 19th century, his criminal law prac-
tice will also be immersed in a Web 2.0 world.
Like many of his peers, he’s connected to
various social media: Facebook, Twitter and
LinkedIn. He has his own website (
Simon-Borys.ca) with a blog, which combines his
policing past with his future as a lawyer. It
features a section in which he explains applications of the law— from disturbances in
schools to roadside alcohol-related driver’s
license suspensions— Criminal Code sections
he dealt with regularly as a cop.
Borys also has a section on police and law
news (including a post on Toronto Family
Court Justice Harvey Brownstone’s Family
Matters online talk show) and a clever feature
called “Police Myths.” (Sample question: Does
a police officer always have to issue a ticket?
Simple answer: No.)
In relying on his experience and expertise, Borys has carved out a niche for himself
on the web and created a unique self-marketing tool that helped land him a part-time
job this summer working with a criminal
lawyer in Kingston.
Other practitioners in the city take note:
Simon says you have “poor” usage of the Internet.
“Of the half-dozen or so regularly practising criminal lawyers in Kingston, only two or
three have a strong web presence,” says Borys.
“Sole practitioners and smaller firms have
relied on word-of-mouth referrals because
they started at a time when that was the primary way they got business.
See Technology Page 22