I attend a third tier toilet and there is a very tough curve. The reason there's a curve is because they can't attract the higher calibur students that will attend 1st and 2nd tiers to increase their bar passage rate. And because of this fact, they have to weed out as much as they can without killing their bottom line, so that the bar passage rate will be better than worse. And it's not so much the curve or drop out rate in 1L that's a negative to the school, it's the bar passage rate.
Also, it's not the GPA that matters to firms, non-profit org, or whatever, it's the ranking. Every interview I went to for this summer, they asked the ranking, not the GPA. So, if at my TTT, I have a GPA of 78% but a ranking of 4 in my class of 500, the 78% is irrevalent.