BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In his first week in office, President Trump has been making good on many of his campaign promises by using one of the most powerful tools available to him.

"Executive order is a quick way for a president to get something done. He's using his power as chief executive to tell the bureaucracy how we're going to interpret the laws of the land," said Kevin Hardwick, Canisius College political science professor.

Hardwick says executive orders are important for an incoming chief executive to set policy direction.

"It's a very powerful device, and every president uses them, and often times the executive orders of one president vacate or change the executive orders of a previous president," said Hardwick.

"You're going to see a rush of executive orders anytime the presidency changes hands, especially when it changes partisan hands," said Jim Battista, University of Buffalo political science professor. "There's a bunch of stuff that any new president would want to undo, stuff that had been particular to President Obama that reflected the way Obama wanted to run the executive branch, where even if Clinton had won the White House, she would be changing things because she's a different person and wants to organize them in different ways." 

Battista says while executive orders are a powerful tool, checks and balances remain.

"If there's an executive order that's been issued, it lasts until another president rescinds it or issues another order that's not compatible with it, or Congress has the power to override most executive orders with a law," said Battista.

Trump has signed 12 executive orders compared to five in the first week for President Obama, who like Trump had his party controlling both houses of Congress when he first took the oath of office. How much that Republican majority bolster's Trump's willingness to use executive orders remains to be seen.