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Lawyers know jargon. We've got our alphabet soup of laws and government agencies, our obscure doctrines, our endless, archaic Latin phrases. But even lawyers can be left scratching their heads at the constantly evolving (and sometimes meaningless) stream of tech jargon that can pass their way. We're talking about the startup kids who want your help incorporating a company that will "gamify cross-office collaboration through SoLoMo tech." Or the new law school grad who is so excited to tell you about his project coding "self-enforcing crypto-ledger-based smart contracts."
Are those even words?
Thankfully, you're not the first person to struggle to make sense of tech jargon -- meaning there are some good resources out there for translating techie insider speak into words that are intelligible to the rest of us. Here are some of the more helpful ones.
Even if you don't work with a lot of tech startups, these are helpful terms to know if you're going to be talking to tech people -- or even just reading about tech developments. This resource breaks down terms by categories like "Cloud" and "Systems and Operations" and provides quick, easy-to-understand explanations of common phrases like SaaS and "open source."
Techopedia is an online tech dictionary that goes beyond just providing a simple definition to its terms. It also gives you a pretty detailed explanation of them. So, say you're looking up "identity token" when researching security protocols. Techopedia tells you what it is literally, but also how the tokens work, why they matter, and the difficulties companies can experience when implementing them.
Another online tech dictionary, Tech Terms does exactly what you would expect -- defines and explains technology terms. But there's a few added bonuses, as well. You can get terms of the day, take tech-related quizzes and research common tech problems. Tech Terms also has an app, meaning that you can access it easily when you're on the go.
Being fluent in any type of jargon means being able to separate the meaningful terms from the meaningless ones. Here's a good place to start.
Of course, you've always got us here at FindLaw to help make sense of the law and technology for you, covering everything from daily legal and tech developments to explainers for lawyers, like "What Is Blockchain? A Lawyer's Guide" and "Top 7 Things Lawyers Need to Know About Encryption."
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