Congratulations! As a new lawyer, you’re about to fulfill a dream of many: to work as a well-paid professional writer. Now for the less-good news. At most law firms, associates think writing is their greatest strength, while the partners think writing is the associates’ greatest weakness.

As a writing consultant and trainer for dozens of Am Law 100 firms, I spend my time helping associates prove those partners wrong. I ask what those partners want to see in work product — and then give associates practical tips in how to deliver. Here are some tips for you to start your first year strong.