about dunlap law

Dunlap Law is a business law firm that advises emerging and established privately-held companies and non-profits.

A business law firm with business advisers and business attorneys that guide your business through thick and thin.

We won't let you miss any opportunities.

Business As a Force For Good

"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


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.

Our Team

Tricia Dunlap business law attorneyTricia Dunlap

Founding Principal & 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 under water again for days. After Isabel, I vowed that I would never again put my children in that house. Read More

Heather Miller Business Law AttorneyHeather Hormel Miller


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.

Dunlap Law Business Lawyers in Richmond Virginia

Kristin Cleary Clarens


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. Read More

Bernie Pike Business Law AttorneyBernie Pike

Of Counsel
Principal and Founder, Pike IP Law

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.

Cathy Eagles Paralegal - Aids our business advisersCathy Eagles


Cathy recently retired from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit where she served as motions deputy from 2009 to 2017. Before that, she was a corporate paralegal at Williams Mullen in Richmond where she handled a wide variety of client needs from simple matters such as corporate resolutions or minutes to complex projects involving highly detailed and exhaustive due diligence scrutiny for mergers or acquisitions.

Cathy’s dedication to her profession shows – she has earned leadership roles on the Continuing Education Council of the National Association of Legal Assistants (“NALA”), served as President of the Richmond Paralegal Association, and as Alumni President of the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

In the summer of 2018, NALA honored Cathy with its “Making a Difference” award and also published Cathy’s article “The Freelance Paralegal” in its journal Facts & Findings.

How Dunlap Law Started

How Dunlap Law Started as a business law firm

A Business Law Firm For Good

"I always knew, deep down, that I’d start my own business law firm someday and build into its DNA the sense of purpose that has always driven me."

- Tricia Dunlap

In 2015 I started Dunlap Law as a business law practice with a mission to help businesses thrive and an emphasis on empowering clients by educating them.

I am still a teacher and everyone at Dunlap Law applies that ethic to our mission. Today I teach my clients so they can understand risks, weigh pros and cons, and protect what they’ve built while spending their legal budget wisely.

We understand what keeps you up at night because we’re a small business too. Maybe you have an amazing logo that needs trademark protection. Our business attorneys can help. Or maybe your executives need advice on spotting and managing risks, and communicating that to stakeholders. Perhaps you’re growing and need to lease or buy new space. We can help.

Dunlap Law's Creation Story

Are we the right business law firm for you?

Schedule a phone call to learn more about how we can help.