Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Dr. Douglas Campbell


Most law firms have done little to address the opportunities and threats related to potentially disruptive technology (DT), such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies that law firm leaders in the United States used to address the potentially detrimental influences of DT, such as AI and ML, on their organizations. The systems approach to management was employed as the conceptual framework. Data were collected from 6 participants at 2 international law firms with offices in California using semistructured interviews and organizational artifacts. Data were analyzed using Miles, Huberman, and Saldana's data analysis method, resulting in 4 themes: recognizing the legal ecosystem and legal firms are open systems, but organizational subsystems often function as semiclosed systems; acknowledging that while DT represents the most significant potential challenge in the near future, the immediate challenge is improving technology, which requires organizational adjustments; recognizing the need for firms to invest more heavily in innovation generation activities; and realizing the need for increased utilization of augmenting technologies, such as AI or ML, to streamline nonadvisory outputs. The findings of this study might support best practices for addressing DT and contribute to social change by outlining ways in which firms can lower costs to clients while increasing access to legal services for those in underserved communities.

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