One of the best compliments one lawyer can pay another is “she does good work.” Essentially this comes down to sweating the details: making sure you’ve hit all the research, spotting and addressing all the issues, and double-checking citations, spelling, and grammar. It’s not particularly hard, it’s just tedious. Good work in the law is tedious.
Great work, on the other hand, requires creativity. Great work is coming up with novel arguments, or finding new ways to deploy old ones. Great work is not just giving the client or the partner what he wants, but giving him more than he expected in less time and with good cheer. Doing great work is hard. But this is the stuff that separates good from great and makes linchpins. Good is the expected minimum and people tend to take it for granted; great never ceases to surprise, or bring notice.
Any job can be creative, but most jobs don’t require creativity. Inject some anyway. Be great.