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Equal opportunity for lawyers in Denver. . . . According to a recent survey by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the Mile High City ranks at the top of the nation's 12 largest cities in terms of the number of minority lawyers employed by its leading law firms. Almost one lawyer in four is either a woman, a black, Spanish surnamed, or an Asian American. San Francisco has an equal percentage of women, but has a substantially lower proportion of blacks.

''I don't know the reason, but it certainly looks good for Denver,'' says Marilyn Tucker, associate director of Georgetown Law School, who compiled the information from an annual NALP questionnaire.

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It may be that since the city is young and growing, it doesn't have the built-in barriers of older, more established cities, she speculates.m

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