How digitalization transforms the legal field

​Digitalization is transforming industries and societies across the globe and has a particular impact in settings that have been protected from changes in the past. The legal world is such a setting. In her doctoral thesis, Charlotta Kronblad tells the story of how digitalization has affected law firms and courts and the "magical bubble" that previously protected their world.

​What challenges do you focus on in your research?

"I focus on how digitalization changes organizations and what happens when previously held truths and assumptions are contested. Digital technologies have presented law firms and courts with immense opportunities, but it has also challenged previous logics, established practices and business models. For instance, human expert work is increasingly being replaced by machines which means that business models based on hourly sales becomes outdated. Organizations need to understand how to act in, and adapt to, this new digital context."

How do you address the problem with your research?

"By exploring what digitalization has entailed in the field of law I strive to understand how digital technologies have been incorporated in this world and why different actors have responded to digitalization in different ways. If we understand why we behave in certain ways we are better equipped to make deliberate choices. And, if we understand the opportunities and risks that has come with the implementation of digital technologies in this world, we are also better prepared to handle them."

What are the main findings of your research?

"Digitalization has altered the core characteristics of this field. This means that legal practice is no longer necessarily knowledge intensive but can demand for other capital than human, and other competences but legal. To succeed in this new context actors can no longer rely on the recipes of the past. This is particularly evident as societal efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19 has fuelled the speed of the digital transformation. In the legal field this has stirred up professional life under the bubble and weakened its protective shield. This means that we are in time of institutional complexity where we have an opportunity to make conscious choices and take deliberate actions that puts us on a path toward the future that we want."

What do you hope your research will lead to?

"In order to prosper in the new digital world, we need a better understanding of the opportunities and risks that comes with digital technologies, and we need to learn how to realize these opportunities and how to mitigate the risks. I hope that my research can help with that."


Text compliation: Daniel Karlsson


The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 20 August 2021 at 13.15, see link on thesis’ page



Page manager Published: Tue 17 Aug 2021.