Woman Founded: First.


At NextChapter, we’re changing the landscape of female representation in the tech industry. Over half of the NextChapter team members are women, including engineers and executive leadership.


NextChapter is one of the first legal tech companies to be founded by a woman and continues to operate under female leadership. Here’s a little bit more about our story and how we support females in the industry.


NextChapter Founding

Janine Sickmeyer founded NextChapter after working as a paralegal at a law firm in Columbus, OH. She’s always had an entrepreneurial mindset, and she had the idea back then to start a virtual paralegal firm. She then saw a big need in the legal industry for a cloud-based bankruptcy software solution.


Janine is a true trailblazer. She taught herself how to code, built a team of developers, and used her experience in beta testing to finally launch NextChapter in 2016. Janine built the company from the ground up, without funding, and continues to lead as the managing director of NextChapter. She had many obstacles to overcome during the process, including battling against the male-dominated legal tech field.


Janine continues to promote and support women in their careers and their rise to leadership positions, both within the company and externally. Mandy Ballinger is now the company’s Director of Operations and joined Janine just a month before NextChapter had its first customer as the company’s first employee.


The majority of NextChapter’s 20-person team is now female, including other leading ladies Katie Stasiulewicz, Manager of Sales & Customer Experience and Jamie Houssami, Marketing Specialist.


Some of Our Awesome Female Employees

NextChapter also employs female engineers, which can be a challenge in that traditionally male-driven industry. Alexis Lkhagvadorj, a full stack developer, and Danica Misic, software engineer, are crucial members of the current NextChapter team.


Female designers include Coumba Winfield, graphic designer, and Melisa Navarro, UI/UX designer. Because NextChapter requires research and lots of data management, we’re also happy to have Bojana Filipovic and Jelena Popovic as research and data assistants on the team.


We recently welcomed a few new ladies to the team: Alex Seymour as a sales account specialist, and Sara Taylor and Kelly Oldiges as Customer Success Specialists.


The Acquisition

NextChapter was acquired by Fastcase, the legal research company, in 2019, and we’re happy to say that they also have many females in leadership positions and they encourage the growth of women in their company.


As the first bankruptcy software to be founded by a woman, NextChapter is happy to encourage and support our female employees in their career advancement and work-life balance. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, it’s more important than ever to share the story of our founding and inspire other women to take on leadership roles and overcome shared challenges along the way.