The Innocence Project, an organization that uses DNA evidence to exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted, is close to marking a major milestone, clearing a backlog of more than 5,000 applications for help.

Playing a key role in the effort were hundreds of lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Weil, Gotshal & Manges who have clocked 60,000 hours reviewing prisoners’ questionnaires over the past four years.