Lai Lien received his early education at the College of Yale-in-China, Changsha, Hunan. He went to the United States in 1919 for advanced education where he attended the University of Illinois and Cornell University, graduating with Bachelor of Science degree in 1923 and Master of Mechanical Engineering degree respectively.
Mr. Lai served as an editor of the Shingwali Daily News (Chinese) in Toronto, Canada and editor of Young China (English) , in U.S.A. He returned to China in 1926, since then he held the following posts: Instructor at the Whampoa Military Academy (now Republic of China Military Academy), chief secretary of the Political Department of the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Army in Guangzhou, engineer and director of General Affairs Department of the Shanghai Arsenal Works, Editor-in-Chief of the Chin Pao, Nanjing, professor of the Central Political Institute and Associate Professor of the National Central University, Taiwan, member of the Examination Commission, Examination Yuan of the National Government, member of the Executive Committee of the Nanjing Special District Party Headquarters and concurrently director of its publicity department.
He also acted as an editor-in-chief of the Central Daily News, Nanjing, Commissioner of Finance of Nanjing, Secretary-General of the Municipality of Nanjing. Then he was a chief secretary of the Lianyungang Harbor Administration.