I personally don't know anyone who was academically dismissed. Yes, the curve is tough. The way it was explained to us is that if you fall below the B to B- range in a class, the curve free falls rapidly, so you could end up with a D even if you perform just a little worse than someone with a B-. Last year, I think there were only 7 F's given for the whole school all semester. The school definitely weeds out the lower end of the class, but what school doesn't? Supportive environment? Yes and no. Yes, there are lots of support programs available, but there's no hand-holding going on here. Your GPA is a hard number that will determine whether you go forward with the rest of your classmates or are relegated to the PLA group -- a stigmatizing distinction that is cause for great 1L anxiety.