Two law grads have been caught plagiarizing an essay on ethics while they were articling.

The students were caught stealing material for an assignment that's part of the bar exam process.

Law dean Sanjeev Anand sat on the Law Society of Saskatchewan committees that looked at the cases.

Both Darby Jane Bachynski and Joanie Stephanie Paquin were found guilty of stealing material.

In one decision, Anand quoted another case that said, "next to stealing, cheating and lying are the most egregious activities a lawyer can engage in."

Anand writes that he's mystified by the students’ behaviour.

"It is baffling why students who have successfully completed a law degree, in what can only be hoped is a singular instance of profoundly poor judgment, decide to gamble their reputation by cheating on what is acknowledged by most as a relatively straightforward evaluation."

The students had submitted the essays last October.

But plagiarism detection software, used on all the essays that had been submitted, revealed that the papers were similar to an essay done a year earlier by another student.

Bachynski and Paquin must write a new ethics paper, write another essay outlining what they did wrong, and push back any applications to become lawyers by three and four months.