I'm hoping to assign a specific local IP (ie 192.168.1.102) to a particular MAC address whenever this device connects with the Linksys wireless router. I've read that it's not recommended to turn off DHCP.
How can I accomplish this otherwise?
Most routers provide a way for you to assign a particular IP address to a particular MAC. You're actually telling the router's DHCP server to just always make this particular assignment, so you don't need to turn off DHCP -- other devices you didn't specify a static assignment for will just get assigned some other address the router has available.
Also, this means that you should still configure your device to obtain an IP address via DHCP, rather than setting a static IP address.