Yesterday I read this post about possible changes in the way that law professors submit articles to student-run journals. One issue is that electronic systems have led to a sharp increase in the number of submissions at many journals, and they basically just cannot handle the volume. This problem is compounded by the risk-averse practice of submitting to every journal, which I know some people do, so they can generate an offer and seek expedited review.
There are many ways to deal with this problem–exploding offers, for example–but here’s one that should get more attention. Normally rationing occurs through prices, so why don’t law reviews just charge for submitting? They would make money (and could become self-sustaining) and fewer people would submit. If law schools absorb submission costs, then that would not do much to stem the tide. Then again, that could just mean that law reviews could charge fairly high prices for the privilege of submitting until they reach a price point where schools would start limiting the number of submissions that their faculty could make.
I'm inclined to agree w/Prof. Magliocca. It's basically a user fee that would subsidize law reviews in an era of declining circulation, while solving the problem of authors basically spamming every law review in the country even if they have zero chance of getting an offer from 90% of the reviews to which they submit.
Increasing the cost of submissions also might have the side benefit of discouraging would be law professors from writing the reams of superfluous juvenilia through which those of us on Appointments Committees must slog.