About

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Business As A Force For Good

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The only B Corp certified business law firm in D.C. and Virginia

As the only Virginia or DC business law firm that’s certified as a B Corp, Dunlap Law strives to be not just a trusted partner but also to use the power of business as a force for good. Out of 50,000 law firms nationwide, about 21 are B Corp certified.  We believe in valuing people and treating everyone with the utmost kindness and professionalism while working to be the change we wish to see in the world.

We actively volunteer time to strengthen our community. In fact, 19.5%  of the total hours billed by Dunlap Law in 2018 were pro bono.

A Better Future For Everyone

In our cynical era, that idea might seem old-fashioned, but at Dunlap Law we believe it and rally to defend it. Just like the visionaries in history books – the Ben Franklins or Maggie Walkers – today’s dreamers and doers will change their own lives and our world for the better.

At Dunlap Law, our small business lawyers guide small businesses, our nation’s heart and backbone, and help larger companies thrive.

We take a holistic view of your mission and challenges and build practical approaches you can actually use.  Our team values the enduring and genuine relationships we have with our clients.

As your strategic thought partner and business law advisers, we help you make ethical, well-reasoned judgments every day.

Dunlap Law is the business law firm for you.

"At its best, business in America has always been an expression of freedom, a path to wealth and prosperity for yourself and your family, and a force for good for the larger society."

Tricia Dunlap

Meet Our Business Lawyers

tricia dunlap business attorney
Founding Principal and Attorney

“Ma’am?  We’re here to evacuate you.  Your house is about to flood.”

I was a 34 year old high school teacher, part-time waitress, and a single mom five months into a divorce.  In another context, I might have welcomed a fireman at my front door.  But on that morning, when I turned and looked toward Swift Creek, instead of 200 feet of grass, I saw a violent filthy river swallowing my deck.

You find out who your friends are when you call at 7:30 AM on Memorial Day.

And so began a dark and uncertain stretch of my life.  For the next two and a half years, it felt like I fought everyone – even Mother Nature, though you never win against her.  Her second swipe at me came with Hurricane Isabel that September. My house was underwater again for days. After Isabel, I vowed that I would never again put my children in that house.

Like Tricia, Heather started her law career with one of the world’s biggest law firms before becoming an independent practitioner of law. While there, she learned federal government contracting from leading attorneys in this niche practice.

Later, as in-house counsel for a global electronic health records software company, Heather worked on legal compliance and reporting requirements for massive federal government projects for the Coast Guard, the DoD, and the VA. She will happily worry about your FARS and DFARS compliance, IP risks, and subcontractors so that you don’t have to.

Heather is also an expert in legal issues involved in oversight of clinical trials. As part of handling a high volume of Clinical Trial Agreements between pharma companies and their global research sites, she has navigated foreign regulations and negotiating styles in other cultures.

A well-rounded attorney, Heather’s experience in a small town general practice also makes her adept at finding practical and useful solutions for small businesses. Our business law firm is grateful to offer Heather’s expertise.

Heather Miller Attorney
Heather Hormel Miller
Attorney
Brandy Brown - Business Law Attorney
Brandy Brown
Attorney

A Florida transplant with a hospitality background, Brandy is enthusiastic about empowering small businesses through expanding access to legal counsel. Working as an au pair in Paris before law school, she learned to appreciate the beauty of identifying straightforward, functional solutions to complicated problems – and to appreciate a good mille-feuille.

At the Institute for the Future of Law Practice’s legal-tech bootcamp, she explored strategies to streamline and modernize legal services via technology, and has since applied those principles in the fields of compliance, corporate governance, elder law, and employment law. From navigating complex cybersecurity and data privacy legislation to drafting creative operating agreements, Brandy is constantly seeking new ways to support and celebrate her clients as they accomplish their goals.

Bernie is a registered patent attorney at Pike IP Law, which he founded in 2012 and continues to lead while also collaborating with Dunlap Law.

With a degree in chemical engineering from Drexel University, Bernie began his career as a process engineer for Bayer, and then continued developing his engineering skills and knowledge at several other sophisticated manufacturing businesses, such as Rhodia and Albright & Wilson.

Over time, he developed an interest and passion for the IP aspect of manufacturing. He followed his entrepreneurial spirit to law school at the University of Richmond and graduated in 1999. After law school, Bernie practiced intellectual property law for two highly respected global law firms — K &L Gates and Troutman Sanders.

At Pike IP Law, Bernie blends his business experience and engineering skills with the sophistication and experience he gained at the big law firms into a unique, personalized, and simplified approach focused on practical, down-to-earth legal counsel.

Bernie Pike
Of Counsel Principal and Founder, Pike IP Law
Dunlap Law
Kristen Cleary Clarens
Attorney

Growing up in Detroit, Kristin volunteered to help her neighbors avoid eviction. Before heading to law school, she worked in developing countries to learn how poor people get money. The lessons from these experiences informed her decision to build a career in international law and continue to guide her today.

During law school at the University of Michigan, Kristin was Executive Articles Editor for the Michigan Journal of International Law, and after graduating in 2005, Kristin joined an Am Law 100 global law firm. Over the next thirteen years, Kristin developed expertise in international commercial matters, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, assessing and managing political risk, and insurance in these contexts.

She worked with multinational corporations and also the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where she routinely counseled various UNDP offices on diverse international law issues.

Kristin is admitted to practice in Michigan and D.C. She is fluent in Spanish and an expert in government integrity and anti-corruption initiatives. She is passionate about helping businesses create effective anti-corruption programs and helping U.S. business leaders stay on the right side of U.S. and foreign anti-corruption laws and regulations.

In 2019, Kristin left her law firm position to assist families at the U.S.-Mexico border. While there, she helped develop better tracking methods so that non-governmental organizations could better work with immigrants and refugees attempting to navigate the U.S. immigration and asylum systems. Kristin’s stewardship ethic also prompted her to co-found Charlottesville Families in Action, an organization that connects families and businesses to local nonprofits to increase community engagement.

Kristin joined our business law firm in January 2020 to help our clients comply with Federal anti-corruption laws as they build their international trade portfolio.

Business Law News

Confidentiality Statements Featured Image
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
Brandy Brown

The Confidentiality Clause Curse: Should Your Professional Services Contract include a Confidentiality Clause?​

Attorneys have an ethical duty to protect their clients’ confidential information under the law, but most professional services providers are not automatically bound to do the same. One way the parties to a professional services contract can manage the risks accompanying the necessary access to sensitive information is to address them in a confidentiality statement.

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How To Start A Business With Friends: 6 Questions You Need To Ask
Contracts
Tricia Dunlap

Starting a Business With Friends? 6 Questions You Need To Ask

This post will help you think through six of the most basic questions that you’ve got to answer before you start your business.1. What Will Each Person Contribute to the Business? 2. Will Your Rights In Your Business Be Proportional to the Contribution to the Business? 3. What If One of You Wants to Resign? 4. Whether or Not You Need a Prohibition Against Engaging in Competing Business Activities. 5. Who Will Manage the LLC?
6. Can a New Member Join the LLC?

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Tips for workplace safety and dealing with employee pushback cover
Coronavirus
Tricia Dunlap

Tips For Workplace Safety, COVID-19, and Dealing With Employee Pushback

This post taps the collective experiences of Tricia Dunlap (business attorney and CEO of Dunlap Law PLC) and Brian Chandler (PR expert and CEO of Commonwealth Public Relations).  Tips For Workplace Safety, COVID-19, and Dealing With Employee Pushback Like every business owner, the first months of the pandemic rocked your foundation. Now, six months in,

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