William S. Hein, Jr., 1949 –

Hall of Fame Induction: 2012

William S. Hein, Jr. is chairman of the board of William S. Hein & Co., Inc. His longstanding and continued support of AALL and law librarians has been unwavering since 1976, when he became the public face of the company after his father’s untimely death. Hein and the company have been regular exhibitors at AALL Annual Meetings and advertisers in AALL and chapter publications. They have sponsored events at the national and regional level, contributed to scholarships and grants, created popular activities for conference attendees (e.g., Hein Fun Run), and supported the archive of AALL publications. Hein’s contributions to AALL have helped the Association provide better educational opportunities for all its members.

Equally important to law librarians is Hein’s interest in bringing the customers what they want and need. From his earliest days of visiting libraries to his oversight of company operations and his role in setting strategic directions for the company, Hein has ensured that the customer’s input was taken into consideration in the development of new products and services. The creation of HeinOnline in 2000 is a prime example of a product that was not just developed in-house but was the culmination of several years spent asking librarians what would help them manage their collections and serve the research needs of their users. It has achieved that and more, as evidenced by its receipt of AALL’s Best New Product Award in 2001. AALL has bestowed this award on two other products of the company, and no less than 14 times has the Association presented its Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award to a publication produced by William S. Hein & Co.

In an age when global conglomerates govern most of a library’s purchasing decisions, Hein’s commitment to his employees, his customers, and his local community has kept the company small and customer-driven. Hein’s leadership has promoted excellence in legal publishing and a firm commitment to supporting AALL and the law library community.

Professional Honors and Awards

  • “Fastcast 50” Award, 2012 (honoring the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders)
  • AALL Hall of Fame Inductee, 2012

Selected Publications about the Inductee

  • Suzanne Cassidy, “Niche Plus Customer Focus Equals Excellent (Small) Company.” Unpublished manuscript, Fall 2002.
  • Bob Berring. “A Tinkerbell in Buffalo.” Slaw (blog). April 19, 2011. www.slaw.ca/2011/04/19/a-tinkerbell-in-buffalo.
  • Margaret K. Maes, “Entering the Hall of Fame: AALL Honors Bintliff, Chiorazzi, Hein, and Surrency for Professional Leadership,” AALL Spectrum 16 (June 2012): 16-17.

Professional Positions

  • Various positions, William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 1971–75
  • President, William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 1976–96
  • Chairman of the Board, William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 1996–


  • B.S., Lea College, 1971