Li Shang-wu was a graduate of the National University, Peking, He did research work in International Law in the Graduate School of the Japanese Imperial University, Tokyo, between 1923 and 1925. Mr. Li did further research work in International Law and Common Law at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, England, in 1926-1930.
Mr. Li held the post of an editor of the Commercial Press in Shanghai. Later he acted as a professor of law at Chinan University and Fudan University, Shanghai. Li Sheng-wu also served as an editor-in-chief of the Central Daily News, Nanjing. He was an advisory secretary to the Central Political Council, Nanjing. Mr. Li served as a councillor of the Executive Yuan of the National Government, Nanjing and later editor-in-chief of the Eastern Miscellany (a monthly magazine published by the Commercial Press). He was a director of General Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which post he resigned December 1935.