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The phrase “I am not a lawyer,” abbreviated IANAL, is common in chat room slang and digital messaging. Users often see it pop up in forums or chat rooms, or in instant messaging text.
“I am not a lawyer” or IANAL is used as a disclaimer to notify other users that the person sending the message is not qualified to practice law. For example, one might see something like “IANAL, but maybe you could sue the company for discrimination.” Sometimes another similar term is also used, “I am not your lawyer” or IANYL. These two can sometimes be used interchangeably, although using IANYL can imply that the person is, in fact, a lawyer, but simply does not represent the recipient of the comment.