Last year we announced a groundbreaking partnership with HeinOnline: HeinOnline users would see hyperlinks to caselaw from Fastcase, and Fastcase users would be able to search HeinOnline databases such as law reviews, historical state statutes, acts, and attorney general opinions. The news was welcomed by fans of both services alike. Legal tech blogger Martha Sperry said that the combination was like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, adding:
Nice to see these well-respected resources partnering to offer more to subscribers. This is a benefit to those groups that is worth noting.
The first phase of this partnership launched at the end of 2013, when Hein launched caselaw links from Fastcase. The combination brought new functions to HeinOnline users, as caselaw citations in the system are now hyperlinked, bringing cited cases from Fastcase into HeinOnline.
Today, we’re happy to launch the second phase of this partnership, integrating HeinOnline’s extensive law review collection in Fastcase. Using your Fastcase account, you now have access to search one of the most comprehensive databases of law review articles in the world. The HeinOnline collection includes more than 2,000 law review titles, each going back to the first page of the first volume. It’s by far the largest collections of law reviews and law journals in the world — and starting today, you can search the entire collection in Fastcase, and subscribe to HeinOnline whenever you want at a discount.
You’ll see several new ways to search law reviews in Fastcase. If you already know which journals you want to search (or if you want to search them all), you can access the entire database of journals by hovering your mouse over the Search menu and selecting Search Law Reviews. Selecting HeinOnline Law Reviews will allow you to browse or search more than 2,000 journals, back to the first page of each.
All journals are selected by default, but you can mix and match the ones of particular interest to your search query as well. You’re free to search using a keyword (Boolean) search or using natural language. As with primary law searches on Fastcase, you’ll get a list of results, the most relevant paragraph of each, ranked by Fastcase’s relevance engine.
This update marks several big changes for Fastcase. Fastcase has traditionally been a primary law service, with access to cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, constitutions, and the like. The HeinOnline collection is a major expansion into secondary materials. In addition, the HeinOnline law reviews are in PDF format, so there’s a new way to view documents in Fastcase. Our PDF player is still in its early stages, so watch for upgrades in the weeks and months ahead.
In addition, this marks the first time we’ve offered suggested results in Fastcase. Now, when you’re searching in Fastcase, in addition to standard search results, you’ll also get suggested results from HeinOnline. The law review materials add such depth to caselaw, statute, and regulations searches, we provide them in a collapsible sidebar on the right-hand side of the page. If you don’t care to see suggested results, simply close the panel. When you’d like to review them later, simply open the panel on any search results page.
We’re selective about the journal articles we suggest: we’ve hand-tagged each journal with the states we believe it primarily implicates. If you’re searching Pennsylvania case law, there’s a good chance the Penn State Law Review is going have articles relevant to your search, so it’ll be one of the many journals we search in that jurisdiction to suggest relevant journal results.
If you (or your firm or law school) already subscribe to HeinOnline, you can view the law review content on Fastcase at no additional charge. If you don’t already subscribe, we make it easy to sign up on a monthly or annual basis. Clicking on a link to a law review article will bring up the following window (at first):
If you’re a member of an organization already subscribing to HeinOnline, you can click the link to get a token and attach it to your Fastcase account. (Note that if you log into HeinOnline through a third party website, you may have to first click on that organization’s link to HeinOnline in order to authenticate your account before syncing it with your Fastcase account.) Otherwise, you’ve got two great options to subscribe to HeinOnline’s database at a substantially reduced rate.
For an individual user, for $59 per month (with no obligation to continue subscribing) or $595 per year (~16% discount), you can sign up to view and download law review articles on Fastcase for whatever period you subscribe. (Enterprise subscriptions are also available for mid- to large-sized firms.)
Once you’re authenticated and/or subscribed to HeinOnline, pulling up a journal article acts substantially like accessing any other document in Fastcase. You’ll see the actual scanned PDF displayed on the screen, which you can search or download to your machine to email or print out.
We want to emphasize that this is the first step in a multi-part rollout for secondary sources on Fastcase. In successive releases, we’ll include several other ground-breaking features, as well as HeinOnline’s historic state statutes, acts, and attorney general opinions beyond those already offered by the Fastcase service.
These are the early steps of a progressive partnership between Fastcase and HeinOnline, designed to empower the users of both services. Subscribers to HeinOnline and Fastcase together will have access to two powerful, unrivaled legal research experiences. It’s two great services that work great together — like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.