Powerhouse Partners: What It Means to Have a Friend at Work

Michelle Clayton and Lindsey Livingston

Friendship Day 2019 : Michelle Clayton and Lindsey Livingston

True friendships are some of the most cherished relationships we create. Each friendship is unique, with its own introduction story, common interests, inside-jokes and memories. True friends are there for each other in good times and in bad, serving as an important support system for our emotional well-being.

At South State Bank, we believe having a friend at work supports our team members’ collective mission to provide exceptional service to South State customers.

Michelle Clayton and Lindsey Livingston, both attorneys at South State Bank, have a friendship that is 18 years in the making.

“It’s an incredible thing to be able to work with Lindsey on a daily basis,” said Clayton. “We’re very close friends and trust each other completely. She always gives good advice.”

This pair met in 2001 when both were enrolled as students at the University of South Carolina School of Law.  In 2002, Clayton introduced Livingston to the man who would become Livingston’s husband, and ultimately Clayton and Livingston were in each other’s weddings.

Following law school, Clayton and Livingston worked at different large law firms, but found that they were having mirror experiences. As friends do, they would often commiserate about the challenges and pressures of their professional lives, which made their bond that much stronger.

“We were at different law firms, but there were the same pressures, challenges and expectations,” says Livingston. “We understand each other in a way others just can’t.”

When it came time for South State to grow its legal department in 2014, Clayton was the second attorney added to the team. South State Bank continued to grow and so did its need for legal resources. Livingston joined the team one year later.

Today, Clayton represents the bank on matters of employment law, fraud, consumer banking and marketing. Livingston is the bank’s representation on matters related to lending.

Although these friends work next door to each other and certainly collaborate on some of the work they do, they say that they likely see each other more away from the office than they do during the work day.

“We talk on the phone with each other on the way home,” Clayton says with a shy smile. “My husband thinks it’s crazy. He says, ‘What could you possibly have to say to each other?’ But the reality is we are often working on different things during the day.”

“Since I was 22, I have talked to her just about every day,” Livingston says.

When they’re not at the office, you can find Clayton and Livingston attending concerts and cheering on the Clemson Tigers together, swapping book and podcast recommendations, and even taking family vacations together.

“Working professionals have a lot to juggle: career, family, travel, personal lives and more,” Clayton said. “Having a friend at work just makes the work environment easier. I take comfort in having someone in Lindsey that understands all aspects of my life.”

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