Matthew J. Schaap

Matthew J. Schaap

Apple Valley, Minnesota
952-953-8816 (Direct Dial)

Matthew Schaap is a litigation and trial attorney who assists clients with a variety of personal and business disputes.

Matthew began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk to Elizabeth Hayden, a Minnesota District Court Judge. As a Law Clerk, he played an active supporting role in the process of judicial decision-making.  He provided judges with the legal research, writing and analysis that they used to decide the legal questions and issues before them.  As a Law Clerk, Matthew also assisted in numerous jury trials in both the criminal and civil context.  This practical experience gave him first-hand exposure to winning trial techniques as he observed highly-effective trial lawyers both in the courtroom and also in chambers.

Matthew joined Dougherty Molenda in 2004 after completing his judicial clerkship. At Dougherty Molenda, Matthew focuses on litigation and trial practice.  Matthew’s primary goal in any litigation is to serve as a zealous advocate for his clients by thoroughly researching all issues (both legal and technical) that are important to presenting the case in court.  However, Matthew also focuses on helping clients to understand the legal process so that they can actively participate in the case and make informed decisions about its resolution.  To accomplish this goal, Matthew has developed a variety of practical guides to assist clients in understanding critical aspects of the legal process, such as discovery.  Like all litigation attorneys at Dougherty Molenda, Matthew provides his clients with early case analysis designed to 1) evaluate the risks of litigation and 2) develop successful trial strategies that maximize the likelihood of favorable trial or settlement outcomes.

At times, litigation involves an appeal to a higher court.  During law school, Matthew's appellate brief was selected by the Legal Writing Department faculty as the "Best Appellate Brief in the First Year Law School Class."  As an attorney, Matthew has continued his commitment to excellence in legal writing: He has authored or co-written numerous appellate briefs that led to affirmance of favorable outcomes for clients.  Matthew has also presented oral arguments in appeals before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (Washington, D.C.), receiving favorable decisions of affirmance from both courts.

In addition to his civil jury trial and appellate experience, Matthew has successfully represented the firm's clients at numerous mediations, arbitrations, court trials and motion hearings.  He has been recognized in Minnesota Law and Politics as a top young attorney and was named to the Minnesota Rising Stars® List in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Year Joined Firm

  • 2004

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation
  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Employment Litigation
  • Probate Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 2002
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • Wisconsin, 2014


  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. - May, 2002
    • Law Review: Hamline Law Review, Managing Editor
  • Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
    • B.A. - 1999
    • Major: English

Published Works


  • Tablet Computing and Your Practice, Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court
  • Business Contract Disputes: Start to Finish, National Business Institute

Honors and Awards

  • Minnesota Rising Stars List , 2007 - 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Dakota County Bar Association, Member
  • Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court

Past Employment Positions

  • Hon. Elizabeth A. Hayden, Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District, Judicial Law Clerk