A Qcity lawyer alleges she was fired because she is African American and is suing the law firm that once employed her.

Venus Yvette Springs filed papers last month against Mayer Brown, a Chicago firm with 1,800 lawyers worldwide, the Charlotte Observer reports today. Springs said the firm used her as a “marketing tool,” sending her to minority lawyer functions and other events.

Mayer Brown fired Springs in May 2008, saying clients and partners had lost confidence in her, the lawsuit states. After she left, the lawsuit alleges, the firm hired at least three white attorneys.

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