Lehan Tunks held degrees from University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, and Yale University. He was a member of the faculty at University of Iowa College of Law from 1939 to 1953, although he took a hiatus to serve in the Office of Price Administration during World War II.
After leaving Iowa, he served as a dean and professor at Rutgers University from 1953 to 1962. In 1962, he moved to University of Washington School of Law, where he served as dean until 1968, and professor until his retirement in 1985. His work focused on corporate and tax law. He died in 1987.