“Try, Try Again,” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 68
After 14 attempts and 7 years of trying, Ben Roll, a member of the Corona del Mar Ward, Newport Beach Stake, passed the California state bar exam. “I just didn’t want to give up,” says the 76-year-old great-grandfather. “There is great satisfaction in seeing a job through. So each time I failed, I bowed my head, got out my books, and started over again.”
Brother Roll’s accomplishment has not gone unnoticed. His story has been carried in newspapers and magazines across the nation, and he has appeared on local and national television news programs.
Brother Roll first began law school 20 years ago at an age when most people are thinking about retirement. His son Thomas explains, “Dad had been hounding me for years about getting an advanced degree, so to get him off my back I told him I’d go to law school only if he’d do it with me. Boy was I surprised when he actually took me up on that!”
After completing two years of law school, Brother Roll interrupted his studies to serve a welfare mission in Hawaii with his wife, Garnet. Afterward he returned to full-time employment for financial reasons. But his dream of completing law school did not escape him. Several years later he reapplied to law school and then had to start from scratch because his earlier credits had expired.
Ten years and 14 bar exams later, Brother Roll was sworn in as a California state attorney by an emotional son, Thomas, now a pro tem judge.
Today Brother Roll enjoys practicing general law with his son. While most father-son law firms might be titled something like “Roll & Son,” the business card that Brother Roll proudly presents states, “Roll & Father, Attorneys at Law.”—Barbara Jean Jones, Salt Lake City, Utah